Update, December 21: Fatshark's Victor Magnuson spoke to us about loot boxes and how games can fund long-term development without angering the players.
Fatshark generated some buzz in October when they announced that Vermintide 2 would not feature loot boxes of any kind, with the statement “loot comes from gameplay, not your wallet.” This was well before Battlefront II became the launching point for the worst of the community’s backlash against randomized microtransactions, the developers’ stance hasn’t softened any in the meantime.
Vermintide 2 lead designer Victor Magnuson obviously isn’t blind to the difficulties of keeping a game profitable while providing long term support, but he feels that trying to split the difference between free-to-play style microtransactions and premium games isn’t the right path forward. Magnuson references Randy Pitchford’s statements against “predatory monetization practices,” and adds that it’s important for developers to “do entertainment for the audience, and not do drug dealing to the drug addicts.” Netflix-style subscription models, like EA have done with Origin Access, might be one option.
Magnuson also thinks it’s tough for bigger publishers to justify more questionable types of microtransactions when they’re making profits higher than ten digits. “That doesn't make sense,” he says, and often serves more to “makes gamers angry.” For premium games, Magnuson points at DLC as one way to support long-term development, and it’s been a method fans have accepted for Vermintide. “If you don't do DLCs, people complain that you don't support the game, and if you do DLC they can be angry that they have to pay for content. But our fans have been really kind, we haven't had any complaints really.”
“As long as our audience is happy, we're happy,” says Magnuson. “We will try to avoid or cancel things that would make the community angry, because they're our fans, they love playing our games, we're here to serve them. And when we release the game it's not our game anymore, it's the community's game. We need to make sure that they have the best possible time with our game.”
You can find out far more about Vermintide 2 in our full interview with Magnuson and Fatshark CEO Martin Kohlund.
Original story, October 18: Rejoice, players, for I bring you wonderful news. In a blessed effort to buck current gaming trends, the developers of Vermintide 2 have emphatically announced that their game will contain no loot boxes.
In a Reddit thread announcing the Vermintide 2 reveal stream, the game’s community manager declared “we will NOT be selling loot boxes, or selling keys to unlock loot boxes. Loot comes from gameplay, not your wallet.” That’s a pretty damning indictment of much of the rest of the industry, which is finding that loot boxes are a pretty nice way to boost their profits. Understandably, that comment was pretty popular.
Elsewhere, the reveal stream offered a gameplay trailer, which you can watch above, and stated that the pre-order bonus of the game would offer 10% off, access to an exclusive pre-order beta, and a free copy of Vermintide 1’s ‘Death on the Reik’ DLC. Pre-order is available now.
The stream also offered the game’s preliminary system requirements, which are as follows:
- OS: 64-bit Windows 7 or later
- CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 @ 2.80 GHz / AMD FX-4350 @ 4.2 GHz
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 or AMD Radeon HD 5870
- RAM: 6 GB
- Hard Drive: 45 GB
- OS: 64-bit Windows 10
- CPU: Intel Core i7- 3770 @ 3.5 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4 GHz
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 / ATI Radeon R9 series
- RAM: 8 GB
- Hard Drive: 45 GB
Check out whether your PC can handle the return of the Skaven hordes with Can You Run It?