Monday, February 19th 2018

CD Projekt Red Opens Up Regarding Loot Box Integration in Games

In an interview to PC Gamer, CD Projekt Red's CEO Adam Kiciński approached the subject of loot boxes and their integration in videogames as ways of increasing companies' bottom line. And as has been the case in nearly every move CD Projekt has ever made, the CEO's - and the company's - posture is one of respect and frankly, overwhelming candure as to how to conduct a respectable business. When inquired on where the company that developed the Witcher games stands on the microtransactions and lootbox conversation, Adam Kiciński was very clear: far and away from a "milking customers" position.

"'Conversation' sounds way too nice to describe what was happening last year. I would rather call it community backlash," says Kiciński. "And this time around, it wasn't just the hardcore community, there were a lot of really pissed off gamers out there and they decided to speak up. Where we stand is quite simple and you could see it with all of our past releases-most recently The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and GWENT. If you buy a full priced game, you should get a big, polished piece of content, which gives you many, many hours of fun gameplay."
"The definition of 'many' may vary on a title-by-title basis, but in our case it was always 50-60+ hours of the main story-line, with up to a couple of hundred of hours of side activities-if you really wanted to max out the title. To me, this is a fair deal. You get what you paid for, plus we are always trying our best to overdeliver. There is no better PR than a happy gamer recommending your title to their friends."

"Then there's additional paid content. What we call Expansions (not DLC, mind you). Things like add-ons way back in the Baldur's Gate era. We released two Expansions like that, and each of them was a meaningful piece of content delivering many hours of new story and gameplay. Finally, there are the DLCs. For us, they're small pieces of content which should be available for free (and that was the case with TW3)." I for one surely remember the developer's promise for 16 pieces of free DLC to be delivered in the months following the games' release, which was eventually done and fulfilled as promised - and then some - with the introduction of a New Game+ mode. But I remember even more the small letter of appreciation that the developers included with every version of the game, thanking customers for their purchase.
"The above covers full-price titles, but there's also free-to-play territory. Here we have GWENT, where you can buy card kegs and some vanity items. Again, the deal is simple-you can play the game for free and craft your desired card collection this way, or decide to spend money and get card kegs. The choice is yours, and the only thing you pay for is time and convenience."

When it comes to unfair or less transparent business practices - as has happened in some games where gamers get the distinct impression content was cut from the base game in order to make room for some so called "Expansions" to be delivered later at a tear-inducing price, Kiciński is pretty clear:

"The moment they feel you are reaching out for their wallet in any unfair way, they will be vocal about it. And-frankly speaking-I think it's good for the industry. Things often look great from a spreadsheet perspective, but decision makers often aren't asking themselves the question of 'How would gamers feel, or is this offer a fair one?'. Gamers are striking back, and I really hope this will change our industry for the better."

Naturally, considering the current legendary status that The Witcher III has achieved with gamers around the world, the developer could be pressed to return to that world sooner rather than later. However, as it comes to plans to return to the world of The Witcher, CD Projekt Red in't considering it just right now; rather, the focus is on their next, long-announced, eagerly expected videogame: Cyberpunk 2077.

"We've devoted a big part of our lives to The Witcher and it means a lot to us, so we're definitely not abandoning this universe," Kiciński says. "If you miss your favourite characters-give GWENT a go. If you're a fan of storytelling, there's Thronebreaker [the single-player campaign for GWENT] coming out in the near future. However, in terms of big RPGs, it's time for Cyberpunk 2077." On that game's release and hype, CD Projekt Red's CEO has a few, but nevertheless encouraging words: "It's a huge responsibility and a lot of pressure. We know we need to deliver. And we will."
Source: PC Gamer
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4 Comments on CD Projekt Red Opens Up Regarding Loot Box Integration in Games

Like a baws. If they can stick to this agenda and remain profitable, they can continue to be that shining beacon of what's good in the world.
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Kingdom Come: Deliverance (Warhorse Studios) follows same philosophy. Full game, no lootbox nonsense, DLC's and even no DRM (GOG release is planned for end of February 2018). Gotta respect that.
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This is an example of a company who stays in-touch with and connected to it's user-base/audience. :clap:
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PC Gaming Enthusiast
CDPR continues to demonstrate they are one of the few "good guys" in the industry.
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