Video game loot boxes draw criticism once again
Loot boxes aren’t large containers for the storage of toys that people mail to their home. They are collectible pieces that can be acquired through game play and provide great rewards, being available in electronic games. You open a loot box, you get a little prize, and, the next time, you do it again. You can also buy them for a significant amount of money.
Players love video games with loot boxes. Loot boxes, as well as other micro transactions, are appealing and they lead to profitability. The video game industry makes tons of money. Unfortunately, people are against loot boxes, considering that they destroy the game. The micro transaction systems draw criticism again. So, what is the problem?
Many associate video games loot boxes with gambling. There is a possible profit and chances are played. Children often play the games and that is a serious problem. Belgium has banned in-game purchases. Senators in the United States have expressed their concerns. As for Canada, lawmakers have yet to introduce bills prohibiting the use of loot boxes.
As far as the economic sector is concerned, loot boxes are extremely profitable. They are a good way to earn money from interactive videos. Activision Blizzard, the American interactive entertainment company, made approximately earned $4.7 last year from purchases made during gameplay, which represents more than half of their income.
Players don’t have a problem with the consumable virtual items that they receive through play. What is unacceptable for them is the fact that they have to buy the boxes directly. They believe that the micro transactions are meant to encourage individuals to gamble. Those streaming video games on Twitter, for example, buy a minimum of 100 prize crates to complete their collection. They take great pleasure in opening them, which is sort of addictive, playing games of chances for money.
What is the defence line?
Jayson Hilchie begs to differ. According to the president and CEO of Entertainment Software Association of Canada, buying video game loot boxes and wagering aren’t the same thing. The micro transactions can’t be taken out of the game, meaning that it isn’t possible to make profit outside of the game. He points out that the collectible items aren’t in violation of the country’s gambling legislation.
Not everyone is preoccupied with the legal delimitations. Experts in psychology are worrying about the consequences of such play. They assert that micro transactions carried out over the Internet create adduction. Young players are the ones who find it impossible to resist the urge to buy loot boxes.
The good news is that things are changing, slowly but surely. A new rating indicator for all video games including consumable virtual items has been assigned. As for video game companies, they have made public the odds of prize crates of the players receiving items in an attempt to be more honest. They have followed the example of Chinese developers of video games.
At E3 2018, the premier trade event for the video game industry, it could be seen that things are starting to change. “Anthem”, BioWare’s next game, will let gamers acquire items right away. However, randomized boxes won’t be available. The social stimulation mobile game “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp” released by Nintendo does use micro transactions, yet there are other ways in which competitors can get access to the in-game dynamics.
The bottom line is that loot boxes transform into a problem when they are the only for players to acquire collectible items that are essential to the game.