A gateway too gambling or a harmless addition to a game?
Whether we like it or not loot boxes have become a staple part of every triple-A-title.
With the likes of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, FIFA and Team Fortress 2 leading the way, loot boxes began to be popularised as a good way to keep audiences ‘playing’ and ‘paying’.
Now, years later and Call of Duty, Star Wars Battlefront II, Battlefield, Overwatch and more are utilising loot boxes in-game to further monetise consumers.
Are loot boxes as bad as everyone makes out?
According to the French, no.
ARJEL, the French regulatory body recently decided that loot boxes are not a form of gambling, as the contents don’t hold a real-world value.
This is true, and the majority of loot boxes are purely cosmetic not affecting gameplay.
They sometimes allow you to skip out the long grinding hours to get certain gear, but again it’s optional!
The developers at games like Overwatch see loot boxes as a good thing, with fans opinions varying.
The instant gratification you get from spending a bit of cash to receive a rare exotic in-game item can be worth it.
Especially when you are pumping hours into a game every day (up those rookie numbers).
Yes, loot boxes are as bad as everyone makes out
Rare items and exotic cosmetics are really quite vein.
Their purpose is to show off to other players that you can either afford lots of boxes to get the items you want or that you are extremely lucky.
Some games, notably Call of Duty, allow you to receive unique weapons from loot boxes which can give you a clear advantage in-game.
Players who don’t buy loot boxes can fall behind, making a game pay-to-win.
Shadow of War, a Warner Bros title, sparked a debate over the necessity of loot boxes in open world single player games… the conclusion? There isn’t.
Even the developers admitted that the ability to pay money to align with Orc leaders ruined the game, announcing the removal of loot boxes this May.
Loot boxes in games are, like many things, now a necessary evil that we will have to live with.
Love em or hate em, you can decide whether to spend the cash.