Since online gaming has become a popular niche appealing to a wide range of audiences, it comes with thousands of new title releases. Naturally, we are curious to know how it all works with different features, especially when the games are incentivized by money. If, for example, you take the highest paying online casino in the UK, you will see how money can indeed be a reward as the more you play, the likelihood, you will earn more.
So what’s the deal with loot boxes? In order to better understand the controversy behind a very hot topic in gaming, you’ll need to know what they are and why many feel so strongly in their opinions about them. This will help you come to your own conclusion and join in on the debate since the dawn of gaming.
What Are Loot Boxes?
Loot boxes, otherwise also referred to as prize crates, are incentivized virtual ‘gifts’ which you unlock as you progress through the different levels of the games. Loot boxes have also been identified as one of gaming’s biggest problems since its introduction in Star Wars Battlefront II. You will see these ‘grab bags’ during the game at certain levels. What these bags contain depends on the game which is usually a mystery for all until you pay the piper to reveal the hidden loot.
Why the Controversy?
Simply put, gamers feel they are being forced to gamble in order to benefit from all aspects of the game. These are digital incentives which you score during gameplay but requires you to spend real money or in-game credits to reveal the hidden loot or ‘treasure’ inside. The thing is, you never know what these bags contain and the players who do open them have the advantage as they quickly boost their character.
Is It New?
Look, loot boxes or digital rewards aren’t a new thing. In fact, games released in 2016 offered these gaming incentives. It’s only recently gaming developers have implemented a real-money platform, hurrying up the process rather than saving in-game currency. While they haven’t necessarily been as popular, or should we say, as noticeable, they are seemingly infiltrating the gaming industry and becoming more apparent in more recent gaming releases.
The Fate of the Box
Many have argued that the loot box is a gamble feature and certain states have explicit laws against gambling. However, the government has declared these grab bags as a non-gambling feature, making them legal and fair game for developers. So what does this mean for the future of gaming? Developers may lose players who feel strongly that they are being extorted to be entitled to the same privileges other players may have access to given that they are spending money.
While there is still much controversy around whether or not these boxes should be available to players at all, it would seem that some players enjoy having the option and the developers are making additional cash, so why wouldn’t they remain a thing of the present?
Visual journalist/Graduating student, University of Missouri-Columbia. Lover of everything in the gaming industry and an avid fan of all films!