Loot boxes .. legitimate cash cow or The new scourge ..?


#1

Interesting to see people’s views in regard to loot boxes in games which are now ever present mainly in online multiplayer gaming nowadays.
Me personally I find them a scourge as it means parting with money if you want a decent if better chance to have those cosmetic must haves or weapons.

Obviously it’s down to choice if you want to buy but find this type of thing in games worrying as it’s not enough now to lay down money for the game itself but developers want to get more money in a rather shady way and let’s face much of it is garbage cosmetic items and if your really flush then weapons and other garbage that’s put in loot boxes which is the norm in other AAA games …

I say this due to my son constantly asking for money for keys to open crates on Rocket League as well as money for FIFA points …

Whatever happened to good old grinding to get something .

I’m old … well 35 so coming from the days of the N64 and PS 1 and having pretty much complete games was the norm but lately everything seems to be a money grab, just being able to buy a game that is “finished” with no need for a internet killing day one patch and without the need for loot boxes would be actually amazing nowadays …

Not a rant , more a musing of the state of gaming in my opinion .


#2

I think loot boxes are pretty bad. I haven’t felt the need to buy one yet, and actually most of the games I have played don’t have the option.
I dont mind cosmetic DLC where you know what you’re buying though.


#3

I can understand to a degree having microtransactions in general. The idea of paying instead of playing to get something I can get as most people work and maybe they have the money but not the time to get things they want. Lootboxes though do just seem like gambling for digital rewards instead of monetary ones. I have OCD and am hyper obsessed with certain things in games and lootboxes really prey upon it. The game I think I’ve seen them handled the best in so far is Rainbow Six Siege. Handled well in that you can just earn in game currency and buy things while playing and lootboxes are coin flips that you get as a bonus when you win matches. So they feel more like bonuses and you can buy the items you want with real money if you want instead of gambling to try and get them.


#4

Loot boxes are a real sticky wicket right now, for a couple of reasons:

  1. Right now there’s a lot of furor over them focused on them as a concept that’s losing sight of the fact that, like just about any gameplay mechanic, there’s a way to do them properly and a way to make them really annoying. The Rainbow Six Siege example @Tolvo mentioned is a good one. CS:GO also has had them for a long time for purely cosmetic items without coming under the intense scrutiny of recent times.
  2. That having been said, the arguments being brought against them aren’t entirely off base. While I’m hesitant to join the chorus of people clamoring for them to fall under gambling regulation, there’s a good argument to be made that there should at least be transparency over the odds you’re working under, preferably in the game somewhere instead of buried on a website. A big part of how manipulative they are comes from the fact that since you have no actual probability to hang your thinking on, human nature (combined with a good sprinkling of “early drops are better”) leads you to believe you’re more likely to get a good roll than you are, encouraging you to spend more.

In an ideal world, loot boxes would serve as a way to bypass a grind that isn’t horrendously long, or to get lucky and get a shiny thing. Right now we’re in the phase of people poking at the boundaries of the latest trend to see how far it can go. I’m hoping there comes a point where they’re back-burnered rather than being thrust as the primary moneymaker.


#5

I have issues with them if they are required to complete the game or force you to grind any more than necessary. If they are done right, and are optional, I have no issue with them. Take Forza 7 for example. I have almost completed the career, nearly every single car is unlocked, I have 100 cars, and millions in credits. I never once bought a loot box, nor was I ever once prompted to buy or use one.

Keep them on the down low like that, and I am sold.


#6

Chuck some coin and maybe you can get my reply that is contained in one of these marvelous boxes.

:gift: :gift: :gift: :gift:


#7

Terrible practice. It’s randomised DLC. People worried about dlc in general being scummy (the move from expansions to horse armour and the like) but this is much worse, you pay for a CHANCE to get something you want.


#8

I am torn when it comes to loot boxs. If I earn them through normal gameplay or using ingame currency, I don’t really mind. As long as it’s not massively grindy to get what I want but if the game is good, I will put the time in anyway.

When it comes to boxes gained via real world currency, then I am OK with people burning their own money to buy boxes. Slight gear increases can be frustrating but I am OK if I can get those things via gameplay.

If a game has real world currency exchange for gear that I cannot gain via gameplay, then I doubt I would be playing it anyway. Unless it’s weird cosmetic, mount things haha.


#9

I don’t like how game design of full price games is shifted to making them more grindy and repetitive to get people to pay up (again) to cut out some of the grind. Also, they mentioned in the recent Waypoint episode that some people spend thousands of dollars on microtransactions. Feels like people with gambling addiction tendencies get taken advantage of. The lack of transparency about drop rates makes it even worse. What’s to stop developers from tweaking the systems in manipulative ways?


#10

I don’t really like the way things are headed.

I’m personally fine with the way games like Overwatch do it, but recognise that I’m lucky I don’t have an addictive personality or OCD regarding the cosmetics. The irony for me is, whilst I’ve not spent a penny on the game since launch, I’d have happily paid for some of the skins if I could just buy them outright. Instead I just grind, and hope I get the ones I want.

But as always, the big publishers are pushing things way too far. The way Battlefront 2 works is a joke, so is Shadow of War. So I’m choosing to support games without shitty, predatory tactics and possibly picking up games like Wardor when they are dirt cheap, if at all.

I think the various governments need to step in and provide some kind of regulation. At minimum drop rates should be freely available


#11

I don’t like them. They feed into peoples gambling habits and have ruined some people’s financial lives forever. Other the. I don’t see why game companies need another reason to get more out of someone when you are already paying for the game. I can understand free to play games doing. But loot boxes seemingly break the game. Shadow of War is just another example of why loot boxes are messed up.


#12

CD Projekt Red proved a good point … gave away DLC free of charge and the actual Expansions as it were felt like real value for money DLC . It’s stuff like that I feel is warranted as it is great value.

I find games that sell with a season pass bundled is a way of saying …oh look , we had ideas but not enough time to get them in game so we will sell it instead …

Think I’m just getting salty with age …


#13

It’s a complex topic.

Loot boxes in a single player game is a flagrant violation in my opinion. It degrades the value of a game while ripping off the customer at the same time. Publishers talk out of both sides of their mouths when they say loot boxes can be ignored and then proceed to say we’re adding them as a way to provide the player with more control by fast tracking the level up process. If loot boxes can be ignored, why offer them in the first place? If you’re offering the opportunity to skip content in a game by paying extra, what does that say about the game you made? What other medium does this? Books offer cliff notes but that’s because the original book is too long or boring to read. Movies don’t offer the option to pay extra money to see just a condensed highlights version. That’s just stupid.

On the other hand I can see the argument for loot boxes in multiplayer games that are designed to be played for years and years; especially if additional content is supported by the sale of those loot boxes (e.g. Rocket League, Overwatch, etc.). I just wish there was a better business model to financially support that rather than relying on a few vulnerable people who get addicted to purchasing loot boxes. I actually prefer DLC over loot boxes since there is a spending cap and you know what you’re getting when you pay for it. Loot boxes are designed to keep you spending indefinitely.


#14

Paid loot boxes are something I wish never entered the world of gaming. If I’m going to pay extra money after my initial purchase, it better add real, desirable content into the game.

Some people like loot boxes, though, so what can I say?


#15

Personally I find lootboxes in Overwatch to be very predatory. Because of event lootboxes. If you want to get a skin you have to get as many as possible in a certain time frame and the best way to do that is to buy a bunch and hope you get it, it really highlights how alike it is to gambling for me. If they removed those time limitations I think it would be a lot less predatory.


#16

It works, but that’s mainly due to the more infamous examples using a wheel of cool items you can get to make you think you were that close to getting that rusted out knife. Time limited stuff, put in single player games with grind cranked up to absurd PS1 JRPG levels, and even putting formally gained through XP stuff in crates make me only wish for the death of AAAA gaming


#17

Yeah they did things perfectly IMO. That kind of strategy I can fully get behind. Also From’s expansions have been pretty great (haven’t played any of the DS3 DLC though)

I think the sad truth is that loot boxes probably make a ton more more money in the long run, precisely because it gives you a nice hit of dopamine when you get the thing that you want, and makes you want to chase that feeling. As a father of a young child, it particularly worries me that this is becoming more and more normalised.


#18

Rocket League actually has a very nice setting that allows you to turn offsetting the crates at the end of games. You will still receive the crates so if you wanted to buy a key you could do so, but it doesn’t show you after every match.


#19

Event loot boxes are the only time in Overwatch that I feel like the need to buy them. I have managed not to but that time limit makes it seems so important that I either.

  1. Play way more during these time periods
  2. Pay ca$h money

#20

Hmmm, I should elaborate a bit more .

It tends to be when his circle of friends get keys for crates then it falls into the fatherly angst of Do I say no or do I give in and let him get keys as not to be left out .

Pitiful I know but more a balancing act of letting him have keys but not too much so as it starts to get out of hand and keep it within moderation.