Loot Boxes, Loot Boxes and MORE LOOT BOXES!

2017 is has definitely shaped up to be the year of Micro-transactions and loot boxes. Almost all games this year have been accompanied by Micro-transactions. Those notable are the recent, Middle Earth Shadow of WarAssassin’s creed origins, COD WW2 and the fabled Star Wars Battlefront 2!.

  • Middle Earth Shadow of War, See’s the controversial loot box system added to a single player game. With the loot boxes adding ways to receive new orc followers.
  • Assasin’s Creed Origin’s,  has a significant cash shop attached to it. With being able to flat-out buy legendary weapons outright.
  • COD WW2has in game achievements for you to watch people OPENING loot boxes in the social hub space.
  • Star Wars Battlefront 2! we all have seen the controversy lately over this utter mess, with its Micro-transactions and Pay Walls. EA had the most down-voted comment in Reddit history, in response to a users outrage about the micro-transactions. Sitting at -675k points:

“The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.

As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.

We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets.

Our team will continue to make changes and monitor community feedback and update everyone as soon and as often as we can.”

After the sickening mess surrounding the Pay 2 Win model of a full priced AAA game, EA decided to stop in game Micro-transactions (TEMPORARILY). They also changed the price of in game hero’s from being 40 hours to unlock a single hero like Darth Vadar to around 37 hours to unlock the entire roster. 

Here’s an interesting video from “The Act Man”, regarding EA

Just recently I came across an interesting video by Jim Sterling about in game matchmaking to try and get new comers to make these Micro-transactions. Praying on new players to have certain items that the veteran players had. Enter Activision’s Patent. 

“System and method for driving micro-transactions in multiplayer video games “

A system and method is provided that drives microtransactions in multiplayer video games. The system may include a microtransaction arrange matches to influence game-related purchases. For instance, the system may match a more expert/marquee player with a junior player to encourage the junior player to make game-related purchases of items possessed/used by the marquee player. A junior player may wish to emulate the marquee player by obtaining weapons or other items used by the marquee player.

Activision's Graph of how they plan on achieving this horrifying act.
Activision’s Graph of how they plan on achieving this horrifying act.

Although Activision insist that they haven’t yet implemented the patent in any of their games to date. The fact that the Patent exists, tells us that they are thinking of introducing it.

Here’s Jim Sterling’s Video on the matter.

In recent news though Battlefront and Overwatch are being investigated by the Belgium gaming commission. They are taking a look at Loot boxes in video games, with a focus on EA’s Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Blizzard’s use in Overwatch. 

Peter Naessens, General Director of the commission, told PCGamesN:-

 “If there is a game of chance, it is not possible without a permit from the Gaming Commission,

This could see the games being removed from shelves and the companies facing stiff fines.

All this Controversy though could pave the way for a better games industry by scrapping or not having Micro-transactions altogether. Games developers will start using the fact that there are no Micro-transactions as a drawing point to their games. Take for example Monster Hunter World which is due to release on Jan 26th 2018.

Series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto of Monster Hunter World have gone out to say they don’t want players to  “skip the experience”, “you’ve already kind of got loot as a core gameplay aspect without having to shove a micro-transaction version of it in.”

Monster Hunter is shaping up to be a highlight game for next year. Lets hope it paves the way for a change in the gaming industry.

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