Unless we stop buying the games that have them…
Loot boxes are the worst form of monetization in gaming. I said it. They strip away content from games, sell it piecemeal while associating it with an RNG roll (you literally pay money for a chance to win what you want), and throw game balance out of loop if implemented poorly (look at Star Wars Battlefront 2). They are also facing significant resistance at the moment (also look at at Star Wars Battlefront 2).
That said, no matter how much we hate loot boxes- and we really hate loot boxes, trust me on this- they might not be going away any time soon. That’s because they are simply making far too much money for that to happen. Speaking to Glixel, Lewis Ward, Research Director at IDC for Gaming, VR and AR, confirmed as much.
“[The loot box system] makes too much money for it to stop. But it’s going to naturally be rightfully viewed as a cause of potential concern by gamers because it’s a change and they don’t know how it’s going to work,” Ward said.
“Games are really becoming services, where the launch of the game is just the beginning of monetization, and the big money is having a large community, a large user base, that keeps playing year after year after year.”
He might be right- but then it comes down to the question of balance, and also of the kinds of games that implement them. Games that are multiplayer services? Sure, I guess. I mean, I don’t like it one bit, but at least I can see some justification for their inclusion in those titles (especially if they offer content for free, and the loot boxes subsidize that content). But in a single player game, or a game selling add on DLC too? Yeah, screw that.