Monster Hunter World Devs Weigh In On Loot Boxes

The upcoming console version of Monster Hunter won't have a loot crate system, but here's what the devs think of the mechanic.

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Now Playing: GS News Update: Monster Hunter World Devs Weigh In On Loot Boxes

2017 has seen the rise of the loot box system enter AAA gaming in a big way. Most recently, Shadow of War implemented the purchasable items as a way to acquire Orcs and weapons, and EA addressed player concerns for the system in the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront II. But the major argument for the system tends to focus on players who don't have hours to invest in a game to earn incremental rewards. In a way, loot boxes can potentially level the playing field

Monster Hunter World, like previous games in the series revolves around killing massive beasts over and over again and then carving them up for the chance to get rare parts to turn into new gear. So loot boxes seem like something Capcom could have considered as a way to give newcomers to the series more chances to get some of the rare loot that otherwise requires lots of luck and even more skill.

During a recent preview event, I asked Monster Hunter series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto whether his team ever considered adding loot boxes to Monster Hunter World. "I think that Monster Hunter has already built that kind of randomized, item reward into the gameplay," he answered. "Whenever you carve a monster after a hunt, you don't know what you're gonna get within a certain range. You've got certain rare parts that you almost never get. You've got some of the ones you don't need that you get a lot of. And then there are the rewards for the quest as well. There are some [rewards] that are standard, there are some that are randomized, and a bit bigger or smaller chance of getting them."

He explained that it just felt like Monster Hunter World doesn't need that kind of system. "You've already kind of got loot as a core gameplay aspect without having to shove a microtransaction version of it in," Tsujimoto said.

The mechanics are, essentially, a part of the game, but what about saving a player's time? "Our focus is on wanting to get people to play our action game and feel the kind of satisfaction that comes with the achievement you get with completing a hunt and getting rewards," Tsujimoto said. "We want people to have the experience that we've made for them rather than the option to skip the experience."

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In a separate interview game director Yuuya Tokuda echoed that response. "I wouldn't see a paid loot box or paid system for getting random items as fitting Monster Hunter because it isn't a game where the strength of the items is the key aspect of how you proceed," he said. "The idea is that the time you spend hunting and the action part of the game is how you brush up on your skills. And then of course you get rewards of better items; but by skipping out on the part where you get better and hunt--if you're simply getting more items--I don't think that'll be a very satisfying experience for players because it wouldn't even necessarily make it that much more of a time saver if you haven't got the skill to use the items you've gotten."

"I think the games that successfully do loot box systems are designed around them completely from the outside and they're a core part of the gameplay loot," added Monster Hunter World game director Kaname Fujioka. "Whereas as our loop, it's more based on the gameplay action itself, then gathering items, then using that to create better gear, and then using that to go and do more action gameplay. We would have to fundamentally rethink our gameplay loop. When you're including loot boxes you have to make them desirable to players and make them want to have them by introducing them in basic gameplay. And then that leads to further opportunities for purchasing to save time or get cooler items. And with our gameplay, we can't just put them in there and have it work. We'd have to have a substantial re-think, which is not something we're particularly planning to do at this time."

While Monster Hunter World does introduce some new mechanics and refinements, it's a game that seems to also stay true to the franchise's core gameplay loop. You can read about our impressions with the first 12 hours of the game, as well as additional comments from the developers in our preview feature here.

But if you're eager to just try the game yourself, a beta will be coming to PS4 for PlayStation Plus subscribers in December. And the full game launches on PS4 and Xbox One worldwide on January 26 of next year, then sometime in 2018 on PC.

Justin Haywald on Google+

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Avatar image for Subaru1980

Once in my life, thank you Capcom. I never tried the other titles, but this time I won't miss Monster Hunter Wolrd.

Avatar image for j15reed

Of course things can always go to far if content is locked behind something you have to buy, but I really don't see the issue with something that's optional.

Avatar image for orenji

Thank baby jesus. I'm definitely supporting this game.

Avatar image for edwardnygma

I can't believe Capcom is doing something right but kudos.

Avatar image for pcgameboy

"We want people to have the experience that we've made for them rather than the option to skip the experience"

This.. This is how i always felt about Loot boxes.. Why make a creative way of unlocking loot, and other stuff in your game when they can just be lazy as fuc*, and throw it all into some boring box.. The guys know that there are better, and less greedy ways of unlocking stuff.

Avatar image for soliaired50

For all of their blunders up til now, Capcom actually has a brain unlike that other guy.

Avatar image for MMX377

No Microtransaction to MHW is a good news! Capcom knew about it, so they don't need our money to buy these terrible Microtransaction.

This is just a beginning for Monster Hunter World!

Avatar image for nadsat-77

BIG props to Capcom here! And i gotta say THANK YOU for not ruining this game.

Avatar image for PSYCHOV3N0M

@nadsat-77: "And i gotta say THANK YOU for not ruining this game..... YET."


Avatar image for Barighm

They should do what Borderlands did: introduce new creatures in new DLC that have higher drop-rates of certain things. Now that wasn't exactly the purpose of the DLC in Borderlands, but it served well for that purpose. You still have to play the DLC, but if you can beat that creature, you will get a lot more of the rarer parts to catch up in the main game. So less of an instant P2W and more of a shortcut, and I still wouldn't allow the DLC creatures to surpass the very best encounters in the main game.

Granted, you'd have to explicity state that is the purpose of the DLC. Most people never do the research to learn that's the purpose of said DLCs.

Avatar image for xnshd

"But the major argument for the system tends to focus on players who don't have hours to invest in a game to earn incremental rewards. In a way, loot boxes can potentially level the playing field."

it isn't an argument its complete bullshit. if you don't have time to play the actual game and progress in the game then gaming isn't for you and you need to find a new hobby. people who buy this shit take away from what the whole point of gaming is. which is having fun PLAYING the game. not buying your way to the end of the game and being happy you "finished" the game when really you didn't since all you did was buy everything and not play anything.

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico

@xnshd: Actually I kind see the point in the argument .. The average Gamer is now in their 30's probably with a family and other responsibilities etc .. so doesn't have they time they once did to put the hours in .. the argument that those Gamers would want to play and rapidly boost so they are on a more level playing field makes sense (Not for all games but certainly MP shooters etc) ... However my problem is that is complete horsesh*t as that it not why loot crates are being introduced its not to help people advance quicker its to get as much money out of the Gamer as they possibly can .. I just wish they had the balls to say it .. the reason we have loot crates is because we'd like to have bigger profits !

Avatar image for xnshd

@ltjohnnyrico: i counter that argument again by saying if your buying stuff to skip parts of the game whether that be progression or whatever then whats the point. multiplayer games why buy the shortcuts when in about 2 matches you can rank up and start getting new guns. singleplayer why buy to progress faster as that just completely takes away the whole point of the game. also singleplayer its not like your "competing" to say on a level playing field as its a solo game.

also i find with multiplayer shooters the best weapons aren't even the last unlocks. most MP games now have weapons that deal pretty much the same damage its just the recoil that changes slightly. like for example with cod pretty much every full auto assault will kill you in 3 bullets to the head and 4 to the chest.

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico

@xnshd: As I said "However my problem is that is complete horsesh*t" - I understand the argument but as you have pointed out its not really an argument - I play a lot of Battlefield and you can buy those quick unlock kits etc .. but the starting weapons are easily good enough to be competitive, I guess some people just can't wait .. for me as long as it doesn't change the balance of a Game (and Battlefield have it right) then it doesn't bother me ! Everything I have unlocked I have unlocked by playing and that is how I will continue !

Avatar image for xnshd

@ltjohnnyrico: even though i dont use these shortcuts in any type of game i still hate them and it bothers me. because if people get complacent with them which has already happened really devs just keep doing it.

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico

@xnshd: I don't mind devs doing it if the game is balanced as there would be no pay to win element and therefore no problem .. but its a fine line to tread .. in battlefield it works ... but others ? maybe not so well !

Avatar image for xnshd

@ltjohnnyrico: i just think that if you can pay to skip progression or speed up progression in a game in anyway then whats the point in playing the game. your basically skipping what the whole point of games are today.

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico

@xnshd: I agree with you .. and I have kids and a wife etc .. but I do appreciate that some of us don't have the time and want to pay to progress .. each to their own I guess !

Avatar image for xnshd

@ltjohnnyrico: no its bullshit. if you dont have time dont play.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@xnshd: @ltjohnnyrico: I, for one, agree with xNSHD.

I have advised other people before when they complain about progression systems that take too much time and investment: look elsewhere. There are plenty of other games out there.

Avatar image for xnshd

@Gelugon_baat: exactly. even if you have a family, kids etc if you can't find the time to play then don't play. yes you will obviously have less time because you have other commitments but so what just take longer to finish the game it doesn't matter if you get 1 hour a night or 1 hour a week. just play the game at your own pace and finish it, there is no need to pay to progress and if you do that in anyway regardless if you have a job family kids whatever your defeating the whole purpose of what games are. so as i have said anyone who does do that just should find a new hobby, because gaming isn't for you and you are quite literally wasting your money to pay to skip content you paid for.

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico

@xnshd: Yeah think there may be quite a few Gamers with families and jobs that would disagree with you on that point kid ! As far as im concerned each to their own .. i am not one to judge someone elses circumstances !

Avatar image for NaturallyEvil

@xnshd: I think it's more fair to say that RPGs (including action games that borrow heavily from the RPG genre) aren't for them. There are other genres where they can be happy gaming, and EA or Activision will be more than happy to cater to them.

Avatar image for xnshd

@NaturallyEvil: yet if they pay to progress in those games its just as bad and again they need to find a new hobby. doesn't matter the game if they buy microtransactions that are basically shortcuts then they shouldn't be playing games. for example battlefields shortcut kits for getting all the weapons in the game. you buy them whats the point in the game to you. go play golf or something if your gonna do that. by the way this isn't an attack on you at all, hope it didn't come across that way.

Avatar image for NaturallyEvil

@xnshd: I don't think progression is as important in a game like Battlefield. The main draw there for many players is that they find it fun to shoot stuff and yell like a moron into a headset. The reason microtransactions are so successful in those games is because progressing your character is a barrier before you get to the fun part, instead of part of the fun.

Avatar image for xnshd

@NaturallyEvil: i argue the progression in any game is part of the fun. its not like it takes long either in multiplayer shooters to rank up.

Avatar image for darkelf83

@NaturallyEvil: If progressing your character is a barrier to fun then they have failed at designing the early parts of the game. If the grind to unlock new content or gear is too much or the rewards too random (looking at you Destiny 1/2) then it also is a design flaw. Though honestly you cannot please everyone.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800

Loot boxes would ruin monster hunter tbh. Considering there is no levels its all about making better armor and weapons from the monsters you kill to advance further in the game.

Avatar image for neurogia

That's what's great about Monster Hunter. Good gear does not a good hunter make.

Edit: I can't wait to see all the new modern day gamers get their butts handed to them by their first Rathalos.

You're either gonna sink or learn to fly real fast, boys.

Avatar image for wexorian

It's a hell and fun grinding franchise, loot boxes do not fit in to the game, Wait when they will announce DLC's Lol.

Avatar image for poe13

They want people to experience what they made for them rather than having the option to skip it.

Crazy, isn't it? I never thought I'd live in a time when devs have to defend their games by using the very reason for playing a game in the first place.

Avatar image for enzyme36

"But what about saving a players time?" This question alone just bothers me.

Avatar image for poe13

@enzyme36: exactly! These things aren't supposed to be 2 hour walks in the park. They are very time demanding. If people don't like that then find a different hobby. It's like if I bought a book and then paid money to skip through all the depth of writing and just find me the good parts.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

What a day it is when Capcom, king of the on-disk DLC, is not the scummy company exploiting immoral business practices.

Shows how low gaming has gotten.

Avatar image for CRAPCOM1926

@Thanatos2k: is not CAPCOM is the MONSTER HUNTER DEVS TEAM, they arent scumbags. MH hasnt done DLC on DISK or PAY DLC, like EVER.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

@CRAPCOM1926: Capcom is the publisher. If they wanted microtransactions, the dev would put them in.

Avatar image for poe13

@Thanatos2k: Gaming really has sunk to a ridiculous low this decade. DLC, season passes (I remember when the full game would come out and that would be it), now the microtransaction bullshit from cell phone games invading actual video games, and many longtime developers leaving studios as well as several studios being shuttered by the big guy studios that don't give a shit about creativity in the way that it used to flourish.

That's why I wait until games are dirt cheap (like $10) and the Complete edition now before I buy them. **** all this greed.

Avatar image for CRAPCOM1926

@poe13: videogames arent charity, is a bussiness its all about THE MONEY but you should atleast have some sort or moral

Avatar image for wadedmcginnis

@Thanatos2k: They're not the hero we wanted but sadly the one we got... lol

Avatar image for whitejackel

nice that they arnt getting into the paid to win stuff.

Avatar image for iohannfus2015

another promising title skipped from my side, thanks but no, thanks !!!

Avatar image for wexorian

@iohannfus2015: And you skip this because of loot boxes that NOT gonna be in game (what's whole article about) or because??

Avatar image for RicanV

@wexorian: he is skipping the title because he skipped the article. In a way the problem resolved itself.

Avatar image for edwardnygma

@RicanV: LOL

Avatar image for freeryu

@RicanV: lol

Avatar image for legendaryh1tman

To simply answer the question, No. Unless its a system that does not involve using actual money then by all means have fun with it. But if it's part of micros, hell to nah nahhhhhhh for any game. I've Spoken, Hitman out!

Avatar image for pauls

@legendaryh1tman: Not to mention what makes MH so fun has always been the loot ladder climb. Yes there is an element of chance in past titles, (rathalos plates anyone?) but the basic nature of the game is progression is tied to your individual skill and/or your ability to cooperate. Want to make that really cool looking switch-axe? First you gotta hunt the thing(s) that its made from.

Take that away and you also take away the immense sense of achievement that follows the crafting of that next tier of loot. Basically a lootbox system would be subjectively less rewarding. I'd never have to try out "inferior" gear if say I could pay my way to top-tier stuff or even win it by chance. Lootboxes work for cosmetics since you're not typically as obsessed with obtaining every single cosmetic, just whatever interests you.