Loot boxes are something that have slowly made their way into games over the past year. Many new AAA games have them like Forza Motorsport 7, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, and Star Wars Battlefront II. The controversy over these loot boxes has been one of the biggest stories in the gaming industry over the past couple of months, especially when it comes to Star Wars Battlefront II. It is very clear that many core gamers are not a fan of the loot box system, especially when items in the boxes (which you pay for) can actually impact gameplay.
While many people want loot boxes to go away, it is extremely unlikely that it will happen. Lewis Ward (Research Director at IDC for Gaming, VR and AR) explained that:
“[The loot box system] makes too much money for it to stop. But it’s going to naturally be rightfully viewed as a cause of potential concern by gamers because it’s a change and they don’t know how it’s going to work.
Games are really becoming services, where the launch of the game is just the beginning of monetization, and the big money is having a large community, a large user base, that keeps playing year after year after year.”
Many of you can remember before the loot box model we have “Season Passes”, but that model was not so successful Ward said, due to its very nature.
“There’s a law of diminishing returns when you offer it that way, and if there’s a multiplayer aspect to it, the pool of actual gamers gets smaller and smaller and smaller. If you’re restricted to playing with other players that have bought that map pack, it eventually becomes a bad investment to keep putting it out.”
With many gamers up in arms over loot boxes and big question is if publishers are willing to take a step back and properly implement changes to their loot box systems according to feedback from gamers.