The current hot topic when it comes to gaming news is loot boxes, and there is a good reason behind the trend: Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and Need for Speed: Payback along with a number of other titles are all offering the feature, and many players are up in arms.
Loot boxes are in-game packs that hold randomly generated perks and other items, for the most part. The big issue at the moment is that getting hold of these boxes requires tons of in-game experience or credits, or even real money. So, these boxes are being compared to gambling like you’d enjoy at Lucky Nugget casino Canada, as buying them really is taking a gamble.
The Two Big Issues with Loot Boxes
The first problem is that game progression can potentially be stifled. Developers may feel tempted to falsely prolong the grind, which issue can be immediately solved by your spending cash on possible perks -they are randomly generated, so you are never sure what your loot box will contain.
The second issue revolves around these boxes as they occur in a multiplayer game. Cosmetic items are not going to sway the tide of a battle between players, but the problem arises when less skilled, but wealthier, players are able to simply hand over money and so get better guns and the power-ups they need in order to obliterate their opponents.
A Case for the Purchasing of Loot Boxes
Some people, however, simply cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars or dozens of hours playing a title in order to get their hands on in-game goodies. But purposefully prolonging progression, or even stifling the chance of it, for customers who have already paid money by buying the game in favour of giving those able to afford loot boxes doesn’t make for wonderful practice.
Some Alternatives for Purchasing Loot Boxes
Although monetisation verging on the dishonest as been a feature for a while now, in both traditional and mobile game arenas, there are solutions in terms of alternatives for loot boxes.
These are a few that spring to mind:
- Paying Extra for a Title
At least one analytics firm has proposed the idea of publishers raising prices, thanks to the fact that the cost per hour of play is lower than most other entertainment..
- Splitting Single- and Multiplayer
Call of Duty and Battlefield have split the single- and multiplayer components.
- Free to Play Multiplayer
Prominent free-to-play examples include Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, both of which offer cosmetic items for purchase as part of their financial strategy.
- Additional Product Placement
This doesn’t hurt if it is done well, as is the case of that seen in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Burnout Paradise. This is an accepted method by many movies and televisions shows.
- Subscription-Based Progression
Examples like War Thunder and World of Tanks spring to mind as examples of subscription-based progression. In these games, players are able to pay a daily, weekly, or even monthly fee in exchange for accelerated progression.