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Nintendo: Loot boxes "have gotten a bit of a bad rap"

Reggie Fils-Aime says loot boxes "can be interesting" as long as players have other options

Nintendo has admitted its interest in using mechanics similar to loot boxes in its games - as long as those mechanics are not the only way to obtain items.

Speaking to Bloomberg at E3 this week, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils Aime responded to a series of questions about Nintendo's third-party pipeline and sources of revenue - prompted by a 16 per cent drop in the company's share price in June, its worst month since September 2015.

On the subject of the importance of digital revenue to Nintendo's business going forward, Fils Aime directly addressed the controversy around loot boxes.

"Loot boxes, broadly speaking, have gotten a bit of a bad rap," he said. "The game mechanic of buying something that you're not sure what's inside is as old as baseball cards.

"What we believe at Nintendo is that a gameplay mechanic that offers the consumer something to buy that they're not sure what's inside can be interesting as long as that's not the only way you can get those items. And that's where some developers have made some mistakes.

"For us, it's one of many mechanics we can use to drive ongoing engagement in the game."

The drop in Nintendo's share price is in no small part down to concerns over the flow of content for the Switch, which its E3 Direct apparently did little to assuage. However, Fils-Aime made it clear that Nintendo has defied the analysts time and again.

"As you look at Nintendo over these many years, if you look at the number of analysts who have actually gotten it right, it's fairly small," he said. "And it's because we as a company, we hold things close to the vest.

"We love to surprise the overall community and environment, and when we surprise, we surprise big."

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