Slot Games Becoming Fairer than Loot Boxed Video Games
The effect of loot boxes on video games and gamers.
Nobody worries about loot boxes until they make their appearance in that triple AAA studio's game you have been waiting for years. Ever since Mass Effect 3, things took a turn for the worse, for example FIFA, Star Wars, reaching a critical point when playing slot games at online casinos is a better way to spend time and money.
The UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) has recently stated to MPs that it does not have measures to oversee and regulate loot boxes that are introduced more and more in video games. Speaking at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport select committee, Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McCarthur highlighted a number of “significant concerns” relating to children playing video games in which there were elements of expenditure and chance.
While online casinos are regulated and audited periodically, loot boxed video games are free to target all audiences, targeting minors that eventually end up spending their parent's money.
In July 2019, BBC reported that a 22-year-old disabled son who has cerebral palsy, complex epilepsy, autism, and learning difficulties spent £3,160 in one game.
The situation looks dire, but let's make a comparison. Players who choose to invest money into loot boxes get nothing in return. Well, to be fair, they get IP (intellectual property) that in most cases is not resellable, and expires fairly fast (new updates, new content that makes the previous purchase obsolete).
Spending real money for an in-game item that expires in just a few months seems like a bad deal. Let's take Fallout 76 for example; a simple colour change of the character used to cost about $5. Extra inventory space, extra cost. Cosmetic changes, extra cost. This is not all; the game at release was sold for $60. Recently, a $100 subscription package was introduced.
On the other hand, online casinos do not target minors, since it's illegal. This seems like a major difference in terms of moral values. It is also important to notice how much casinos and slot games have changed lately. The average RTP (Return To Player) in 2019 was as high as 96%, an all-time high. According to UKslots.net, the bonuses and welcome rewards have changed as well. The conditions for clearing bonuses are changing and no wager slots are gaining more and more ground. This simply means the player deposits and gets to withdraw whenever he chooses.
The biggest difference between loot boxes and slot games is that in the latter players can win money. Some possible returning investment versus no return, a big deal if you ask me.
Are video games with loot boxes just casinos with no return targeting all audiences? Sadly this seems to be the case. And the situation is getting worse. Besides the damage caused to children, it also heavily damages the video game industry.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to find video games without microtransactions, loot boxes, purchasable crates, shots and items. The saddest part is, every game studio seems to take this approach destroying some beloved franchises such as Fallout.
Gaming companies such as Bethesda are raking in ever-increasing profits with minimum effort. This simply translates to less qualified personnel required to work on actual game content. In the long run, video game quality will massively drop due to this. If the game sells, in this case, loot boxes, there is no reason to improve ever.
Microtransactions and loot boxes are ruining gaming as we know it. The one simple concept that has spread like a particularly aggressive disease throughout the body of gaming in the last few years. Its various deadly strains - from loot boxes to season passes - have finally become too much for gaming's collective body to take.