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Skate, EA’s highly-anticipated skateboarding game, seemingly added loot boxes to its latest test build. EA and developer Full Circle announced in 2022 that Skate would be a free-to-play and live-service game, but would not contain any pay-to-win mechanics, paid gameplay elements, or paid loot boxes.

That promise still seems to hold up despite the addition of the infamous loot box mechanic, according to playtesters speaking to Insider Gaming. These so-called Swag Bags, which had already been uncovered by data miners last year, are tied to an in-game currency. Players can earn more of that by completing challenges with higher difficulty levels containing additional rewards. The currency must be used to both purchase and unlock Swag Bags, which sounds like it’s going to be quite a grind.

Each Swag Bag seems to contain five cosmetic items at the moment and players can check the contents of the loot box before they decide to purchase it. This is a mechanic that EA has tested in its FIFA series, which is still being criticized for the use of loot boxes in the FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) mode. Getting a duplicate item compensates players with a different in-game currency.

A third currency, though not implemented right now, has been found by data miners last year and might be a purchasable premium currency, but that’s not certain as of right now.

In its current state, this sounds like a fairly reasonable implementation of the loot box mechanic with EA seemingly learning from the criticism hurled against FIFA and the unforgettable disaster that was the attempt at putting loot boxes into Star Wars Battlefront 2 in 2017.

However, since these are merely playtests, nothing is set in stone and the system may well go through big changes until the game comes out. There currently is no release date for Skate.