ArenaNet has released a statement on the recent Guild Wars 2 community outrage over the introduction of mount skins lootboxes. The studio won't change the existing lootbox mechanic.
In the recent statement, ArenaNet CEO Mike O'Brien stated that the development studio will not be changing the way mount skins lootboxes work, meaning that lootboxes will continue to be sold via the game's in-game gemstore.
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Changing the way lootboxes work is out of the question for the studio. According to O'Brien, changing the existing lootbox mechanic would "invalidate the investment" some players have made.
The update that launched last Tuesday introduced a new lootbox mechanic that encourages players to gamble on a set of 30 different skins.
Players can purchase the lootboxes from the game's in-game gemstore for 400 gems per box, roughly $5.00 US. In total it costs 9600 gems to unlock all new skins, roughly $120.00 US, if players buy boxes in bulk.
The $120.00 US price tag for 30 new mount skins is equivalent to roughly four times the price of the game's latest expansion pack Path of Fire.
All of the new mount skins are not obtainable through normal gameplay and can only be purchased via the gemstore, which adds to the community's frustration. Items sold via the gemstore are only available by purchasing gem cards or by converting gold to gems.
In the statement O'Brien noted that "the next planned mount skin releases" will focus on individual sales and bundles like the Spooky Mounts Pack.
The Spooky Mounts Pack were the first mount skins to be added to the game. The skins are only available in a pack and cost 2,000 gems, roughly $25.00 US.
The studio currently has no plans to introduce new mount skins that are obtainable through normal gameplay, meaning that future mount skins will only be available by purchasing them with gems.