Loot boxes, arguably gamers’ most-disliked games industry component of 2017, could be making their way to Xbox Live, according to a new report. Windows Central reports that Microsoft’s previously announced plans to overhaul Xbox Gamerscore center on a new “Career” system that would allow Xbox owners to grind through levels and prestige ranks and earn loot boxes.
These features are commonplace in many individual games, but Microsoft’s new system would tie loot box unlocks and leveling/prestiging up to players’ Xbox Live accounts rather than to specific games. And unlike some recent games with wildly unpopular loot box systems (most notably Star Wars: Battlefield II), the Xbox Live loot boxes would reportedly contain cosmetic-only items for dressing up Avatars.
If the report is accurate, then Xbox owners will earn experience points and loot boxes by completing specific objectives like playing certain games. Though nothing is certain at this point, it does not appear that Microsoft will let users pay real-world money to bypass playing and go straight to unlocking loot boxes.
Careers would supplement the existing Gamerscore system rather than replace it, with some sort of symbiotic relationship involving experience points being doled out when achievements are unlocked. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Mike Ybarra, Corporate Vice President — Xbox and Windows Gaming at Microsoft, said in August 2017 that Microsoft was looking for ways to improve the achievement system without outright eliminating it.
“We’re going to go big in the area of letting people show off and represent their gaming history and the type of gamer that they are, far more than we do with Gamerscore,” Ybarra said at the time.
Microsoft is expected to release the new Xbox Career system sometime early this year.