Brenon Holmes, creative director on EA and Bioware's coming Anthem, has taken to Reddit to talk loot boxes. He says their implementation in the keenly anticipated game is "an ongoing discussion," but that the sceptical view taken by many gamers is "definitely represented" on the team.
Here's everything we know about Anthem so far.
Responding to a thread expressing concern about Anthem's potential for a "toxic" loot box economy, Holmes says:
"I hear you. We're talking a fair bit about this at the moment. I can't really talk about it too much, but it's an ongoing discussion.
"And if it helps at all, we're gamers too. A bunch of folks on the team have similar positions on monetization, so that perspective is definitely represented."
On a separate thread, a number of Redditors picked up on former Bioware designer Manveer Heir's despondent comments about the spread of the service model and microtransactions. Replying, Holmes makes clear that Heir was never on the Anthem team and thus would have no insight into its monetisation plans.
Anthem is commonly supposed to be EA's answer to arch-rival Activision's Destiny, perhaps the industry's leading example of a big service game. Destiny 2 shipped with several premium editions, DLC in a season pass, and microtransaction-based loot boxes. It has also become the best-selling console game of the year despite only launching in September.
Anthem was only announced at E3 this year, so it's no surprise that a final decision on its monetisation model is still pending. But if it's truly intended to be a Destiny killer, we can certainly see why gamers are braced for loot boxes.