The Gaming Commission in Belgium investigated video game loot boxes and determined that they are a form of gambling. They will now attempt to ban the loot box concept in Europe and it could spill over to the United States. Many users have expressed a distaste for the loot box concept and feel like it's a waste of money. Those players are not alone and game companies could soon feel the wrath of the consumer if they don't shape up their loot box concepts.
This is a good thing because it seems like most users think loot boxes are a horrible rip off anyway. It seems like the gaming companies made the loot boxes for sale for the sole reason to pile on the bucks and be greedy. There are better ways for gaming companies to make money, such as offering new content, but loot boxes stink and they should be banned. then again, it's a free market and game companies can make the loot boxes if they wish, but that doesn't mean the end user will continue playing their game or paying for loot.
Digital Trends reports:
According to Gaming Commission director Peter Naessens, the investigation, which includes Star Wars Battlefront II and Overwatch, began because loot boxes don’t reveal their contents until after players have purchased them, rather than traditional microtransactions, which give players a clear indication of what they’re buying. Under Belgian law, the Gaming Commission must provide a license before publishers are able to include gambling in their games. With the Gaming Commission concluding that loot boxes are a form of gambling, Electronic Arts may have to halt sales of the game in Belgium.
“The mixing of money and addiction is gambling,” said Belgium’s Gaming Commission (via PC Gamer). Belgium’s Minister of Justice Koen Geens also weighed in, saying, “Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child.”
The loot boxes in some video games such as Star Wars: Battlefront II and Destiny 2 cost money, but don't always give users the best loot possible. Some of the loot boxes contain a wide variety of prizes and the user basically spins a metaphoric slot machine and gets a prize that's randomly determined. So essentially, users are paying a price in hopes to get a good prize - almost identical to the concept of the slot machine where you put your coins in and spin the wheel hoping for the big win.
This can become both annoying and addictive as people can constantly waste money trying to gain particular items. It's also annoying to users because one person can spend a few bucks and get a certain item right away, but another user might spend three times the amount to get the same item. It's essentially an unfair practice that charges gamers too much for too little.
It would make more sense for users to pay directly for the item they want, or to do things the old-fashioned way and earn items, or buy items based on an in-game currency that is earned through gaming achievements.
As a gamer who spends time on Xbox and Destiny 2, I can see how annoying it would be to constantly spend money and not get what you want, then to see your friend spend barely anything and get everything he wants. As an end user, I'd rather pay for the items up front and not play the loot box gambling system.
Games should have two systems built in - the earning system where users get everything for free by playing the game, and the pay to 'git gud' system where guys like me pay a few extra bucks and get all the perks. I would pay for that because I no longer have 24/7 to dedicate to a game like I used to. Getting married and having a daughter takes away precious game time, so paying for upgrades would be preferential for me, otherwise, it would take me two years to catch up to everyone and I won't ever 'git gud' like all the pro 10-year-old gamers.
I don't want to become a meme, so I need to be up to date with my arsenal.