Loot Boxes… Loot Boxes Everywhere!

Loot boxes are fast becoming one of the most contentious subjects in gaming. At best they’re a cheap way to artificially add longevity to games by forcing players to grind until they randomly get the bonuses they want. At worst they’re cynically designed to sting players for real money via micro transactions for items that should be unlockable through play.

Destiny 2, Forza 7 and Shadow Of War all recently came out and feature a loot box mechanic. They’re all great games, make no mistake, but the loot box thing is totally unnecessary. In the cases of both Forza 7 and Destiny 2, elements that could be obtained through play have bow been locked away in loot boxes. In the case of Forza 7 it’s race mods that enable you to earn in-game currency. Now you have to buy mods that help you earn currency using currency. In previous versions these were simply part of the base game. In Destiny, costume shaders represented the best way to really make your character stand out, and were infinite use items, so you could keep them and use them whenever you wanted. In Destiny 2, shaders are one use consumables. Why? Because games publishers have looked at the pay-to-play/pay-to-win mobile gaming market and decided they want a taste of that action. The thing is, mobile games are mostly free. The concept doesn’t sit so well when you’re talking about premium products.

What can you do about it? Keep playing and keep enjoying your games, grind if you want to, but think very carefully before making any in-game micro transactions. Do they add value: Will they improve your overall experience? Are you paying extra for something that should have been part of the game already? We’re all for paid DLC if it adds value and extends the life of a great game. Just keep that in mind. If we don’t buy worthless features, perhaps publishers will stop trying to sell them to us.