The LootBox Problem: How Gaming Is Veering Towards Gambling

From weapon skins to character outfits. From emotes to sprays. Lootboxes are changing the way gamers play their favorite titles and changing their spending habits. Games like Overwatch simply stick to cosmetic items, making the loot boxes more of a choice than a necessity. But some games have started hiding game-changing abilities behind this random paywall.

This was not always the case. Many games avoid the Lootbox issue by not having them, games like Rainbow Six Siege, who take the classic route of leveling up to gain better equipment, but with a ranked mode that means players can be hard-stuck in a certain part of the ladder. Services such as can help players, who have purely had a couple of bad games or a bad placement, still reach their full ability.

 

What is Being Done About It?

Recently a committee was called in the English parliament to address the growing Lootbox issue. Was this a system in which children were being given a gambler’s mentality. The excitement of nearly seeing the knife you want in CS: GO or the one Mercy skin you don’t own can often lead to those looking beyond the free offerings games give you for playtime.

The inherent issue is that these boxes are marketed as low-cost. Boxes will come in small quantities that can often trick gamers into buying in multiples of say 3, there is no guarantee of an item, nor do they know the chances of them receiving the item.

In games like CS: GO there is a system in which you can sell these prized skins for actual money accruing a small fortune for those lucky enough to get their hands on certain colors or patterns. Creating an income source from a game that is supposed to be competitive and enjoyable shows a steady trend downwards towards a casino-like experience.

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