Bethesda Founder Says Loot Boxes May Backfire, But Players May Have To Absorb Increasing Costs of AAA Games
Bethesda founder Christopher Weaver might be unknown to most younger gamers, but his role in building the developer is definitely still noteworthy. Weaver founded the company in 1986 and managed to craft the first physics based sports (football) simulation game, Gridiron, which served as the foundation for EA’s Madden franchise. Of course, the breakthrough happened with The Elder Scrolls: Arena in 1994, to which Weaver also contributed.
ZeniMax Media, the new parent company of Bethesda Softworks, was founded by Weaver in 1999 alongside Robert Altman. While Weaver stopped being an employee in 2002 and went to court against Bethesda (the parties eventually settled the dispute outside of court), in 2007 he still owned 33% of the company’s stock.
Speaking with Rollingstone’s Glixel, Bethesda founder Christopher Weaver, who is nowadays working on a Videogame Pioneers Archive for the Smithsonian Institution, voiced his opinion on the recent loot box controversy that has surrounded big blockbuster games like EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II, Microsoft’s Forza Motorsport 7, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Middle-earth: Shadow of War and lately even Activision Blizzard’s Destiny 2.
This nickel and dime approach to payment may well backfire as it interferes with the flow of a game and disallows for players to lose themselves in its play-world. Players may have to absorb the increasing costs of creating AAA games to allow publishers to remain profitable.
The Bethesda founder does have a point. While it is doubtless that loot box mechanics shoehorned in games can only lead to the outrage we’ve experienced in recent weeks, it is also true that development costs are constantly rising, particularly for AAA games. As such, the base price of AAA games might have to increase.
Would you be willing to pay more for a game if that meant not having to deal with loot boxes, microtransactions, Season Passes et cetera? Feel free to chime in below.