There’s been plenty of furore recently regarding the sudden proliferation of loot boxes in major games. We moaned about it last week, and since then it’s been confirmed that player progress in Battlefront 2 will be entirely based around loot box transactions rather than in game achievements. EA got plenty of good press when it announced that there would be no paid DLC this time around, but the trade-off is micro-transactions that will almost certainly be needed to advance your character’s abilities and weapons. Credits to buy loot boxes will be earnable in-game, but given the random nature of such rewards, it seems likely that large numbers of players will choose to pay to advance their character quickly rather than grind it out.
The problem is that in the context of a competitive multiplayer game, players unwilling to spend money on in-game transactions run the risk of being left behind by those that are. The definition of pay-to-win. Interestingly, after petitioning by unhappy gamers, the matter is to be discussed by the British parliament with a view to classifying loot boxes as a form of gambling. If such a ruling were to be passed, that would make it much more difficult for games publishers to implement such mechanics in the future, and that can only be a good thing.