As per a Reddit post, showcasing what appears to be a screenshot of the recent Skate playtest, the upcoming title will have ‘product boxes’ that have a random unlockable item inside when you open them. These boxes, labeled as ‘Swag Bags’, are purchased by exchanging Taps, some form of in-game currency.
As per the screenshot, Taps are earned by “exploring Fun City and completing FCCC Challenges.” What can be unlocked in these Swag Bags are customization items for your character, as well as Build Kit items, that will let you customize your own skating area.
The news of this upcoming Skate game is something that has been making the rounds for several weeks now. First came the reports of a closed playtest invitation being sent out to a small number of players. Then, details from this playtest were leaked to the public, including the presence of in-game currency. Finally, EA studio Full Circle revealed that this game wouldn’t be called ‘Skate 4’ but instead simply ‘skate’, as it would be an ongoing live-service free-to-play game meant to be supported and updated for years to come.
Skate is a long-time EA franchise, which began with its first title back in 2007. It was EA’s attempt to dip their toe into the skateboarding genre following Activision’s massively successful Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series. EA did end up finding success of their own, following the title up with two sequels, the latest of which, Skate 3, was released in 2010. The series had been dormant for a while, and the skating game genre, in general, was seeing little, if any, Triple-A support, therefore many were excited about the announcement a year and a half ago that Skate would be returning.
However, the most recent revelation was that the new Skate project will be an ongoing free-to-play game has seen pushback from some series fans, who are concerned that modern monetization methods may taint the overall experience. Full Circle made a point during the reveal to specifically quell these concerns, affirming that there would be “no pay to win, no areas locked behind paywalls, no paid loot boxes and no paid gameplay advantages.” Indeed, as seen in the image, the supposed loot boxes are seemingly purchasable via an in-game currency. Though that doesn’t necessarily quell all concerns.
Though the Taps currency could be reasonably earned in-game, adding the option to purchase Taps, would result in ostensibly being able to pay for loot boxes. Industry insider Tom Henderson suggested the idea that a paid Battle Pass system could result in higher tiers giving out Taps, and that that way, they’d avoid the backlash from allowing their direct purchase. All of this is conjecture, of course. There is yet any tangible evidence to believe that their monetization strategy will be nefarious, however, many continue to express that they would have simply preferred paying a $60 premium up-front for a full Skate 4 game.
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