By Danny O’Sullivan
Loot boxes & Microtransactions: they are the cancer of our favourite hobby and something that greedy game publishers like EA and Activision have all be happy to exploit and use to milk gamers of our hard earned cash and ruin our favourite games.
The whole loot box gravy train that publishers have been cosily riding for quite some time, especially with multiplayer games such as Overwatch, came to a slow but painful halt with the late 2017 release of Star Wars Battlefront 2. Here gamers finally spoke up, both with our voices online and our wallets, to finally tell the greedy, tone deaf executives at EA, Activision and other large game publishers that enough is enough!
When the whole Star Wars Battlefront 2 saga had occurred, people in Government started to take notice of loot boxes & microtransactions as a problem.
In January 2018, only two or three months after the whole loot box saga came to a head, the Hawaii state representative Sean Quinlan had something to say about Loot boxes in video games. He said that Stars Wars Battlefront 2 was an “Star Wars themed online casino” comparing it to real-world gambling.
It’s important to bear in mind while you’re reading this that in the case of Star Wars Battlefront 2 that these loot boxes had upgrades that directly impacted gameplay and the overall progression of the game. This makes them even more scummier and predatory than they would have been if they were just cosmetic upgrades, which is one of the defences used by certain people in favour of loot boxes & microtransactions.
Recently, they have started to creep into single player only games too, most notably Middle Earth: Shadow of War. This impacted the overall progression and difficulty of aforementioned game, making it far more grindy and arduous to play through than if there were no microtransactions or loot boxes in it at all.
All this is why we, as gamers, need to continue the war against these predatory and exploitative business practices by greedy, corporate game publishers and prevent them from completely ruined a hoppy and passion that we all care about and want to preserve what we love about video games in the first place.