Loot boxes are quickly becoming far too common in games. Sure, they might be (somewhat) acceptable in free-to-play games, but many argue that including loot boxes in games you have to pay for, especially when the boxes give players tangible advantages over players who don’t buy loot boxes, goes too far. Well, Monster Hunter fans don’t have to worry about loot boxes in Monster Hunter: World, since they are at odds with the game’s mechanics.
During an interview with Gamespot, series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto stated the following when asked about loot boxes in Monster Hunter: World:
“I think that Monster Hunter has already built that kind of randomized, item reward into the gameplay. 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 big bigger or smaller chance of getting them. You’ve already kind of got loot as a core gameplay aspect without having to shove a microtransaction version of it in.”
As a Monster Hunter veteran, I know all to well the frustration of hunting a monster over and over again for the one item I need to craft a new weapon or piece of armor yet never getting it, forcing me to hunt the monster numerous times (I think the most I ever hunted one monster for a specific reward is around twenty) until I finally carve out that long-awaited rare item. Yet, I never had to pay a dime for these items, and more importantly, I enjoyed these hunts. Sure, it counts as grinding, but you know a game is good if it makes grinding for loot enjoyable, and not out of a “one more time” mentality. If Monster Hunter: World implemented microtransaction loot boxes, Tsujimoto feels it would ruin the experience, as the point of the game is to hunt monsters, not pay money for the option to skip the experience. Either way, there’s no guarantee a player will even get the item he or she wants, so why bother paying for a roll of the dice when you can just roll them for free?
Game director Yuuya Tokuda shared Tsujimoto’s sentiments in a separate interview:
“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. 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.”
Likewise, game director Kaname Fujioka (in yet another interview) echoed Tokuda’s argument that Monster Hunter is built around the concept of getting better at hunting monsters, receiving items as a reward, using those items to make better armor and weapons to hunt even stronger monsters, and then rinsing and repeating in perpetuity. TL;DR version: the developers behind Monster Hunter: World will never put loot boxes in the game because it defeats the purpose of the game, which is to essentially “git gud.” If only more game developers thought like that.