Need for Speed Payback reduces the need for loot boxes


As the heated debate over loot boxes and player progression continues, Need for Speed Payback joins Star Wars Battlefront 2 in making changes based on the discussion, largely in regards to how the game doles out currency and experience. Essentially, drivers will earn more for less from events and races, making it easier to upgrade cars and level up.

The objective of these changes, says Ghost Games, is to make progression and owning cars a more enjoyable experience, which you’d hope would have been the main objective from the outset. A generous person might suggest that they miscalculated how much grind would be involved, rather than being pressured or choosing to create a system that encourages players to throw cash at the problem by purchasing loot boxes — called ‘shipments’ in Payback.

Here’s the current list of changes:

Increased the amount of REP awarded by taking part in events.
Increased the amount of Bank awarded by taking part in events.
Bait crates now reward increased REP.
Bait crates now reward increased Bank.
Competing against a Roaming Racer will reward you with increased REP.
Competing against a Roaming Racer will reward you with increased Bank.
Air Suspension will now appear more frequently within Shipments.
Slightly increased REP and Bank for finishing an event outside of first place.

More tweaks are also in the works. Ghost Games will be changing how tune-up shops work, specifically around the quality of their stock. Tune-up shops sell cards that represent parts and vehicle upgrades, but their selection is random. Alternatively, the studio suggests that players recycle speed cards for tokens, which can also be gained by winning events, as they can be used to make a targeted roll, potentially netting players new upgrades for a specific part of the car.

The loot boxes persist, unfortunately, but these otherwise positive changes certainly suggest that kicking up a fuss about less than consumer-friendly business models has a tangible impact, and that these already quite pricey and popular games don’t need to manipulate or milk players.

None of this sounds like it will fix the problems John had when he took Need for Speed Payback for a spin. Lamentably, the series continues to try and be like the Fast and Furious movies, but with the worst cast of horrible racers imaginable.

Tyler and his crew are about to pull of the job of the century, to steal a $2m car for its tech, and be set for life. But one of the crew betrays them, and Tyler has the choice of going to prison, or working for the guy from whom he stole the car. Because, um, that’s how the police works? Who knows, certainly not the developers. Six months later, he’s still working for the mean man, on the promise that one day he’ll get revenge – nay, Payback – on the crewmate who let him down so. But the betrayer is talking to the mean man! And so he’s sad. And on his way home, someone offers Tyler the opportunity to take part in some races. But he says no, because if he races he’ll have to go to prison. (You know, that legal system.) So the next morning you begin doing some practice races to be allowed to do the big race.

Oh dear.

Anyway, if that doesn’t put you right off, Payback’s progression update is live now.


  1. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I think people jumping up and yelling probably scared some companies into at least temporarily backing off on it.

    At least I’d like to think that.

  2. Freud says:

    I have to admit I get some enjoyment from their backpeddling. It’s just temporary though. EA will try to push these things on us once the storm have calmed. They are only interested in monetizing us, not entertaining us.

    Peck the button.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Exactly this. And while the people still buying games from the likes of Ubi, EA, etc at this point deserve whatever they get – good or bad – the rest of us, DONT. I dearly wish gamers would stop giving their implicit endorsement of this behavior by buying these games.

  3. Premium User Badge

    wsjudd says:

    Hurrah! I pre-ordered Payback after enjoying its predecessor (I know, I know) and I was holding off playing it in the hopes that something like this would happen. And now it’s happened! Hurrah again!

  4. falcon2001 says:

    Game still has an egregiously awful storyline. :( But good to hear it’s getting better to play.

  5. Alberto says:

    ¿Remember the days when race games were about racing and choosing the parts you liked with ingame money?
    Crazy days, ¿Huh? I wonder how all those studios didn’t go directly to bankrupt without microextortions.

  6. thomas16632 says:

    simply put : i won’t buy this game either, because lootbox.
    and i hope more and more people will not buy any product with lootbox, even if the core game is good, even if it’s blizzard.
    Stop being sheeps, vote with your wallet against gambling,
    vote against unnatural progression system
    vote against paying for nothing
    vote against lazyness of editors / designers : it’s more easy to put everything you can earn into lootbox, than saying this achievement = this loot.
    Pure greediness, pure lazyness, pure screwing