Electronic Arts addressed one of the big elephants in the Anthem room during a "deep dive" into the game at today's EA Play press event by stating unequivocally that there will be no loot boxes in the game at all.
Cosmetic and vanity items will be available for purchase, but instead of buying a box and hoping that something cool pops out of it, players will know exactly what they're getting up front. And nothing will be available to buy that will deliver any sort of gameplay advantage: As BioWare's Mark Darrah put it, there will be "no ability to pay for power."
Given the uproar over microtransactions in Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and randomized loot boxes in general (particularly the jaundiced eye being cast upon them by regulatory agencies around the world), it's a smart move: Gamers can customize their faces off without feeling like they're getting hosed, and EA stays out of the spotlight and the doghouse.
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.