Following a series of teasers posted on social media and one epic leak by Walmart Canada, Bethesda finally announced Rage 2 this week. The company also unveiled an explosive gameplay trailer and confirmed that the open-world, first-person shooter will focus on a character called Walker as he faces off against The Authority.
As Rage 2 is an open-world title, it’s understandable that many have wondered if the game will feature loot boxes, a business model seen in many other open-world games such as Middle-earth: Shadow of War. In an interview with German-language publication GameStar (via Google Translate), creative director Tim Willits was quick to address this, saying that he “can say for sure” that the game will not have any loot boxes. The developer went on to joke that “We have this novel approach: You buy the game and then you play it.”
Loot boxes have been a major source of contention in the games industry recently, with many gamers taking developers and publishers to task over the random rewards systems. The backlash has grown so severe that in several countries, politicians and lawmakers have begun investigations into whether or not loot boxes in games are gambling and whether bans and restrictions should be introduced.
With this in mind, many will be glad to see that Rage 2 will not follow suit of so many other games and will instead leave loot boxes out. Arguably, this is a smart business decision by Bethesda and developers id Software and Avalanche Studios, as the game will not be impacted by any loot box laws that are implemented between now and the game’s 2019 release date.
However, just because Rage 2 will not feature loot boxes doesn’t mean that the game will not feature microtransactions, another business model that has also been criticized by some. In the interview, Willits also reveals that the game will follow the games as a service approach – that is, the model where games receive lots of post-launch content in an effort to get people to play for longer. The team thinks that it can bring “some fun stuff” to players, explains the developer.
This sort of games as a service content is often supported with microtransactions, such as purchases for cosmetics or even larger purchases for substantial DLC expansions. For example, Far Cry 5 has cosmetic microtransactions, but no loot boxes. Full details on Rage 2‘s business model and post-launch support have yet to be confirmed, though Willits ensures that more information will become available closer to the game’s release.
Rage 2 is set to launch in 2019 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.