Vermintide 2 will not sell loot boxes, developer confirms

The finely named Swedish studio Fatshark officially unveiled Warhammer: Vermintide 2 yesterday with a gameplay trailer highlighting some of the new features—character careers, Heroic Deeds—and also a few fine members of the Chaos army that's joining the fight. One thing it didn't mention, however, is how it will handle loot—and, more to the point, loot boxes.   

Fortunately, the answer is both simple and short. "We will NOT be selling loot boxes, or selling keys to unlock loot boxes," community manager Fatshark_Hedge wrote during a Vermintide 2 reveal stream Q&A on Reddit. "Loot comes from gameplay, not your wallet." 

That's important, because randomized loot features prominently in the Vermintide experience. In the original, for instance, "you are given loot dice at the end of a mission that will reward you and your team mates with a weapon, a hat or a trinket. Completing side objectives means that better loot dice can be added to the roll."   

Vermintide 2 promises more of the same in that regard, with "relevant loot ... applicable to your chosen career" awarded to players at the end of a mission. And it's fair to say that where there are loot-based rewards, there are quite often also opportunities to purchase virtual containers that have a few of them stuffed inside. 

This is a particularly noteworthy issue right now because of the uproar over loot boxes, especially in big-budget, premium-priced games like Shadow of War and Battlefront 2. The debate over whether or not the random element of loot boxes constitutes a form of gambling has been persistent and robust, and it's led to some interesting and unexpected places: the government of the UK was recently forced to respond to a petition on the matter, while Activision was compelled to explain the rationale behind its patent for a technology that tweaks matchmaking in multiplayer games to "encourage" microtransaction purchases. 

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 (now without the "End Times" subtitling, thankfully) is available for pre-purchase now on Steam, and expected to be out in the first quarter of 2018. 

Andy Chalk

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.