Last week it was revealed that the new Skate (simply called Skate, not Skate 4) would be a free-to-play live service game, which has drawn a mixed response from fans. While a game going the live service route isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, fans understandably began to worry about how the game would be monetized. Canadian Skate developer Full Circle says the game won’t be “pay to win,” but there’s plenty of wiggle room within that statement.
Well, perhaps there is reason to be worried, as Redditor PatFennis released a Skate screenshot, either from the leaked alpha or recent playtests, indicating the game will offer loot-box-like “Swag Bags” (click the image for full resolution).
Now, from this screen, it appears these Swag Bags only include cosmetic items, and the “Taps” currency used to purchase them can be earned in-game. So, perhaps it could be worse, but this still seems to fly in the face of a recent “The Board Room” video, in which Full Circle devs stated there would be no loot boxes (although a graphic stated “no paid loot boxes.”)
Yes. We know to support a never-ending, ever-evolving, free-to-play world of Skate, we'd have to look into different models for the game itself. Which means that there will be microtransactions. And we know this is a sensitive subject. That's why when we decided to explore this model, we made some hard ground rules to follow. The first is that Skate is not "pay-to-win." There are no areas of gameplay or the map that you will have to pay to unlock. There won't be any loot boxes. And there are no gameplay-altering advantages that you can pay for as well.
If Skate’s Swag Bags are indeed entirely cosmetic and only unlocked with in-game currency, then they might not be too bad, but the messaging so far is unclear. This is also a system that could very easily be monetized down the road, even if it isn’t at launch. I think most people would probably prefer to see loot boxes banished from the game altogether, even if they’re not as bad as they could be.
Skate is coming to PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and Full Circle is “exploring” mobile. The game does not yet have a release window.