The Problem with Loot Boxes?
Loot Boxes have been somewhat the bane of the gamers existence this last year. Loot boxes are rewards given to players for leveling up or completing achievements within the game that include in game items for you to use. These same boxes can sometimes also be purchased for real money to give lazy or bad players an edge or that sick new Hanzo skin that you just need to have so you can scare your opponents into believing you are somewhat good at the game. These boxes have been used as a tool for developers to offset the price of DLC (down loadable content) to provide continued support and content for these games at no required cost to the player.
Now for a history lesson that will sound like me ranting about how the industry has changed. So, before the days of the internet, most games came out complete. This is like buying a #9 combo. You will get the burger with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, and mayo; fries; and drink. Eventually, the developers said “What about the apple pie?” and thusly expansion packs were born. This gave players that love a game a reason to come back to it and put more hours into something they love. Eventually, this concept turned bad with the season pass and pre-order bonuses. This meant that if you bought the game brand new, you get a hamburger. No cheese, no sauce, no fries, and no drink. The bare bones. If you wanted lettuce you have to preorder at Best Buy; tomato came from Gamestop; and onion came from Target. Then the rest of the game was released through out the year giving you the fries, drink, and pie, over the course of 8-12 months. Keep in mind, this meant that as a consumer, you are paying 60$ for a game plus the 40-50$ season pass.
Loot boxes allow us to go back to the glory days of giving everyone all the new content when it comes and still allows the devs to get paid to support this content. All at an optional value of have a sick Hanzo skin. But these glory days wouldn’t last long. The developers got too greedy. With the release of the new Lord of the Rings, Call of Duty, and Destiny 2. All sporting these loot boxes that can be purchased along with a full blown season pass. Lord of the Rings being the worst out of the bunch. Often time these loot boxes only contain optional item that do not give you an edge in gameplay. LOTR includes gameplay items to better your character in loot boxes and rocks a season pass! To me, this is highway robbery.
The long and short of it is, I understand that in a perfect world, we would pay for the game and that’s it. But that just isn’t the case. So I am ok with loot boxes as long as it they are not abused by the developers. It will take some time and a lot of community backlash before the devs really find out what is abuse and what’s not. So until then, we just need to roll with the punches and keep providing constructive feedback and sending the developers death threats because we need to remember that the devs could be a lot more greedy than this. Loot boxes are a great tool to allow future content at no cost but in the hands of evil could bring down an entire community.