Amazon Games' free-to-play shooter Crucible is taking a novel approach to developing it's microtransactions, by letting players shape how they work.
Crucible, which will launch on PC on May 20, allows players to earn Credits in game which can be used to purchase cosmetic items, emblems, banners, sign up for the Battle Pass, as well as character skin bundles and voices. However, if you'd rather speed up the process of unlocking them, you can buy Credits, with bulks running from $5 for 500 Credits to $79,99 for 10,000 of them. Most importantly, there'll be no loot boxes whatsoever.
In a recent interview with GamesRadar, we spoke to Relentless Studios' Colin Johanson, who is the franchise lead on Crucible, about how the focus of developing these microtransactions was on building something for the players, shaped by players.
"We went through a lot of different iterations of different systems," Johanson explains. "Where we started was from a position of… we didn't want it to be pay-to-win. We didn't want the perception that there was any power for payment. We knew we were making a competitive game, and as soon as you do that it sort of calls lots of things into question."
Relentless Studios' approach to microtransactions in Crucible has been similar to its efforts to playtest and balance the core game. Players were brought in early and frequently, helping the studio and publisher to refine its systems. "One of the things that's been really cool – and a key part of development of this game – is we've been bringing in prospective members of the community all along."
"The first system we had we were like, 'Hey, you are all players, what would you think if this was our monetization system?' and they were like, '... no, that wouldn't be cool,'" laughs Johanson. "Amazon is very customer centric. You can win almost any argument at Amazon by saying like, 'well, is this what people really want? Do people want this thing?' And we've let that guide our policy with monetization." The result is a system that attempts to strike a careful balance between not affecting play and keeping you interested enough to invest if you're too impatient to earn Credits through regular play.
"What we're trying to really do with this game, and this goes for monetization, is create a long term relationship with our player base. This is very in keeping with how Amazon works in business… we want you to play the game and we want you to play the game for years. We want you to be customers of our game and players of our game – to be into our game as much as you possibly can be for as long as you can be," says Johanson, adding, "[That's why] things like loot boxes – that have things that are super random and all that kind of stuff – those are those are not the way to go for us, especially."
Want to learn more about Amazon's latest game? Check out our hands-on Crucible preview (opens in new tab) for more info on the colourful shooter.