Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford is a figure of substantial internet controversy depending on what day of the week it is, and he’s certainly had some, er, interesting things to say over the years. Just look at the time Battleborn was set to go free-to-play, or the day Pitchford discovered the game’s inevitable porn derivatives.
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But today, Pitchford has a message the internet mob might more easily get behind: predatory monetization is bad.
/1 I am generally very much against predatory monetization schemes in F2P games for consumable goods and even more so against them in premium games. I tend to oppose such techniques both as an artist and creator and also as a customer and a gamer.— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) November 10, 2017
As evidence of his position, he cites the golden keys in Borderlands 2, which were only distributed as promotions rather than sold. Pitchford does hope we stop calling all this stuff loot boxes, though - after all, there are plenty of boxes filled with loot that aren’t trying to squeeze money out of you.
It’s certainly an interesting time for Pitchford to be making these kinds of statements, given that Take-Two - parent company of Borderlands publishers 2K Games - announced to investors this week that they only want to release games with “recurrent consumer spending” options in the future.
But while Pitchford might be against “predatory” purchasing options, he does support more traditional DLC as a concept.
/3 Contrarily, I tend to be very supportive of post-launch monetization of durable goods as DLC in *almost* any form. Again, as a customer and as a creator, I think that new, discrete content that took energy to create deserves to have the effort compensated.— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) November 10, 2017
If you want a somewhat more direct line to Randy, there’s good news: he’s now hosting a weekly live call-in show where you can ask him anything you want. The results should be interesting, to say the least. You can tune in Sunday at 14:30 PST / 17:30 EST / 22:30 GMT / 23:30 CET on Twitch to find out what’s next, or check out the video of last week’s inaugural episode. The cast is rotating, so it seems Pitchford won’t always be on, but hey - now’s your chance to ask those burning questions.