Developer Turn 10 has announced that it will be removing Prize Crates - Forza Motorsport 7's version of loot boxes - from the game this coming winter.
Turn 10's Alan Hartman explained the process of untangling prize crates from the game's many systems was very complex, which is why the change won't be immediate. For the time being, cars have been completely removed from prize crates and they offer no competitive advantage; they now only contain cosmetic items such as driver gear and badges and the Mods that can be used to increase rewards in single-player. Cars previously exclusive to prize crates have been unlocked and can be bought normally.
Prize crates were very unpopular with the Forza community, which may be why they were never put on sale for real money in the game's marketplace, despite apparently being designed for the purpose. The prize crates seemed overdeveloped and intrusive to many, including me: "It's hard to tell if their implementation is Machiavellian or inept - or both," I wrote in my Forza Motorsport 7 review. The game's launch was also marred by a poorly communicated change to the VIP membership system which disadvantaged players and which had to be reversed.
Turn 10 and Microsoft have gone further, however, in seeking to clear the stink of loot boxes, microtransactions and pay-to-win from Forza. In the same blog post, Hartman announced that paid tokens would not be coming to Forza Motorsport 7 or Forza Horizon 4, which is due for release in October.
Tokens were a secondary currency in many previous Forza games which could be purchased with real money and used in-game to buy cars. Though they did confer advantage - in the sense that they provided a paid shortcut to faster or more exotic vehicles - it has to be said that they were never as controversial with Forza players as the prize crates have been.
But still, out they go. It seems there's a new zero tolerance policy for microtransactions and loot boxes within the Forza games.