Dauntless developers drop loot boxes from game

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Pheonix Labs, the developers of free-to-play game Dauntless, have announced they are removing loot boxes from their game in favour of more ‘player-first’ monetisation.

Design director Chris Cleroux told PCGamesN in an interview that “a couple of years ago we had taken loot boxes as a de facto choice and we hadn’t revisited it. One of the things that we felt was never really […] the best of experiences was having loot box based monetisation.”

Pheonix Labs have stated that they will be switching to a mechanic more in line with Warframe and Path of Exiles, where players can choose which items they want, rather than acquiring loot boxes.

When asked if this is a reaction to the recent commotion over loot boxes in AAA games, Cleroux said “Yes and no. We’re not entirely reactive but we’re not deaf. A lot of the narrative right now focuses on the hybrid games, the ones that have a boxed product that costs $60 and then they want more dollars. To be clear, I’ve made that sort of game before. It was never done in a way of ‘How can we milk more money out of the player?’ Instead, it was ‘We have this new service that we’re offering that costs a lot more, can we offset some of that cost?’”

Speaking about what this should mean to the player base, Cleroux added “I want the player to think that we are doing it for them to deliver a quality experience, that they will reward us with their money. I don’t want to build a company that is known for being able to extract capital out of them.”