Posted by Evolve on Apr 19, 2018 | In: General News
It's pretty bizarre imagining these two pictures together: Animal Crossing and loot boxes. However, that's exactly what happened over the past night, as Nintendo's popular mobile title Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp acquired randomized loot box features in the form of items known as Fortune Cookies. Since the game has gone on for several months now with no such features, this comes as a pretty big surprise. The closest thing it had to that were special items that could be purchased with premium currency, or features to speed up the game wait times through payments. Now, however, having a feature that's totally randomized in the vein of similar systems in other recent video games is strays it into that loot box territory, and is a pretty tough pill to swallow.
This may not come as a complete surprise to some, given Nintendo's recent history with their mobile titles. While Super Mario Run featured no such systems, the more recent Fire Emblem Heroes included similar gacha-styled elements and randomized boxes, in order to gain new characters for that game. All of this has brought gamers to wonder what the future holds for Nintendo and the differences between the mobile space and the console space. Nintendo's console games haven't had any of these sorts of mechanics, including in their online titles like Splatoon 2 and ARMS, both of which have received regular free updates and an upcoming paid DLC for the former. Mobile games are quite infamous for these predatory practices though, and considering the recent fervor surrounding loot boxes, Nintendo's decision to include them in Pocket Camp probably had these differences in values in mind, meaning it's (hopefully) doubtful we'll see these types of things on any of their console games.
The Fortune Cookies in Pocket Camp work similarly to how you'd expect these sorts of things to work. To buy a Fortune Cookie, you need 50 Leaf Tickets, items which can only be bought in an amount of 45 or 100, just skirting that 50 mark. You can buy different types of these cookies, all of which feature various items that belong to specific sets. Some types of the cookies completely randomize the items as well, meaning players will end up getting duplicates. You get a stamp for every Fortune Cookie you buy. Once you've gotten 10 stamps (by buying 10 Fortune Cookies), you can trade the stamps in for specific items, some of which require multiple sets of stamps rather than just the initial 10. It's a rather cost heavy system, and one many fans aren't happy to see.
All of this makes one wonder if the system will stay in Pocket Camp going forward, or if the feature will be removed due to fan backlash similar to what's happened to other games over the past year. While a lot of mobile companies do end up getting away with these types of practices, Nintendo has more scrutiny since they're one of the giants in the console gaming industry, so it'll be interesting to see where this goes over the next few months. That said, you can play Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for yourself on any Android or iOS device! Just mind the loot boxes.