July 27, 2018 // 10:30 a.m.
Turn 10 Studios has announced that it is pulling loot box functionality from Forza Motorsport 7, while also abandoning plans to implement an in-game currency which can be purchased using real-world cash in the upcoming Forza Horizon 4.
Loot boxes, a particularly insidious revenue generation technique which pressures players into paying real-world money for an unspecified chance of winning coveted in-game items, have been the subject of much negative press of late. While the UK's Gambling Commission has stated that they are not a regulated form of gambling providing there's no ability to cash out 'winnings' into real-world cash, it has confirmed the risk to children from the normalisation of gambling it provides.
Apparently eager to get ahead of the problem, developer Turn 10 Studios has confirmed it is beginning the process of pulling loot box functionality - known in-game as 'prize crates' - from Forza Motorsport 7 as part of its summer update, despite not accepting real-world money for their use.
'While we’ve never charged money for prize crates in Forza Motorsport 7,' explains studio head Alan Hartman in a blog post, 'their presence in the game has continued to be a source of controversy. The overwhelming feedback has been that this system feels out of place in the game. After careful consideration, we have decided to completely remove prize crates from Forza Motorsport 7. Similarly, paid tokens – which were a part of previous Forza games – will not be coming to Forza Motorsport 7 or Forza Horizon 4.
'Due to the complexity of removing prize crates from the game – while keeping access to Driver Gear, Mods and Badges – we expect that this process will be completed in the winter timeframe. Starting this month we’ve already taken steps towards that goal, first by unlocking more than 100 previously locked "exclusive" cars and, second, by completely removing cars from the prize crates in the game. The current lineup of prize crates offer no competitive advantage and only offer Driver Gear suits, Mods and badges, and these crates will remain in place until crates are removed entirely.'