Loot Boxes – Good or Evil?

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We all value our freedom and part of living in a free society is permitting people to make bad decisions. With that in mind, does society want to ban the practice of loot boxes? If loot boxes are banned, what would be the next evil of society that would require banning. It is a slippery-slope and we have freedom-loving Americans should be careful of what we wish for.

P3D contends that companies are milking their consumers for everything they have by selling them these packages that become available within the game and if the user chooses to purchase the package, they could obtain something useful or a complete waste.  We did a YouTube video a while back on the matter:

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P3D’s interest in loot boxes was reignited with Belgium cracking down on Electronic Arts’ practice of loot boxes as stated in this eurogamer.net post.

Back in April, Belgium’s Gaming Commission determined that loot boxes found in FIFA 18, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive were an “illegal game of chance”, and thus subject to Belgian gambling laws. Failure to adhere to these laws – which include ensuring that minors are unable to access the gambling elements within a game – is illegal.

Electronic Arts disagrees with Belgium and stated, “its games were ‘developed and implemented ethically and lawfully around the world” and that it did not agree that its games could “be considered as any form of gambling.'”

I lump the concept of a loot box and excessive downloadable content (DLC) into the same group. DLC was interesting at first, but over the years, it has become aparent that a patient gamer can easily obtain the “loot” at a fraction of the price if only the gamer has the patience. In my earlier days, I would jump on the DLC bandwagon, like so many others. Now that I am older and have more responsibilities and financial constraints, I will buy the game months after the release to obtain it at a fraction of the price and wait until there is a good deal on the DLC to have a “complete” game.

While on that subject, why are games released only partially completed? That is a rhetorical question, of course. Game development from the 8-bit/16-bit days has risen exponentially, and DLC and a partially completed game is an easy way to recoup the high development costs.

That brings me back to the “Generational Gamer” element of the site and the channel; games have evolved significantly over the last forty years. Prior to the original X-Box, the only way to sell a game was to sell it as a complete package. Although the inclusion of a hard drive is nice for enhancements, the fact that companies can release a game and fix it later, has definitely harmed the industry, in my humble opinion. The whole concept of partially completed games is a stark reminder to the PC releases of games, particularly of yester-year, which I despise. Another transfer from the PC to the console game realm is the installation. EVERY SINGLE GAME!

Maybe, I am simply a crotchety old gamer, but I remember a time, when said gamer would go to a store, purchase a game, bring it home and finally pop the cartridge into the system. This part is a foreign concept to “modern” gamers, but the game immediately started; no load times, no installation, no day-one update and NO problems. I miss those days.

What do you all think? Are we better off now or were we better off before?


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