Nintendo believes that loot boxes “can be interesting” if implemented in the right way, and are one of many gameplay mechanics that would allow them to “drive ongoing engagement” in their games.
Nintendo of America president and chief operating officer Reggie Fils-Aime acknowledged that they “have gotten a bit of a bad rap,” likely referencing the controversy that had surrounded Star Wars Battlefront II.
Many had recognised that the online multiplayer action-shooter had suffered from an overly aggressive use of loot boxes and microtransactions, to the point that Electronic Arts had to remove them from the game to rebalance their approach.
“Loot boxes, broadly speaking, have gotten a bit of a bad rap. The game mechanic of buying something that you’re not quite sure what’s inside is as old as baseball cards, as an example,” Fils-Aime explained to Bloomberg.
“What we believe, for example, at Nintendo is that a gameplay mechanic that offers a consumer something to buy that they’re not sure what’s inside can be interesting, as long as that is not the only way that you can get those items. I think that’s where maybe some developers have made some mistakes. For us, it’s one of many mechanics that we can use to drive ongoing engagement in the game.”