Loot boxes contain valuable in-game items awarded by chance. They can be earned through achievements in gameplay or purchased for real money or in-game currency. In some cases, to get a specificitem you might have to purchase an indefinite amount of loot boxes. It could be one; it could be five. Maybe you’ll get that assault rifle you really need in this loot box, maybe you’ll get the skin you’re after in the next. ‘Just one more… This COULD be the one with Luke Skywalker that you’ve been hoping to get!’ you hear your brain say.
Pay, play, win, repeat. Sound familiar?
You may be imagining a slot machine right now, or perhaps you’re deep into relieving the blend of frustration and ecstasy that accompanied you each time you opened a loot box in Star Wars Battlefront II. Both scenarios entail a chain of activities resulting in pleasant exhilaration caused by the release of dopamine. But there are two fundamental differences in how this experience is delivered across both mediums.
Differences between Loot Boxes and Regulated Free Online Casino Games
Loot boxes led a relatively untroubled existence until they were introduced into full-priced AAA video games, which necessitated additional micro transactions in gameplay. In the case of Star Wars Battlefront II, the game didn’t come with explicit warnings about how likely players would be to make in game transactions in order to get the full benefit out of playing. Making such iconic characters as Luke Skywalker inaccessible for many hours of gameplay unless a player purchased numerous loot boxes was at the very least deceptive. It wasn’t hard for this kind of lack of clarity to get customers aggravated.
Transparency, when offering any service, is essential to customer satisfaction. And here lies the first difference between loot boxes within AAA games and regulated online casino games. For one, in an online casino, a customer knows exactly what he or she is getting. Websites like Vegasslotsonline give customers a chance to easily explore a gallery of online casino games, with clear rules of game play, and clearly stated odds to make an informed decision on the game they wanted to play.
Ask a gamer what they think about loot boxes and you will probably get a comprehensive list of issues, not the least of which a resemblance to unregulated gambling. They would be right in that you are often prompted to commit real money to loot boxes, without being given information on the odds, appropriate safeguards, or prompts preventing you from overspending.
And here, once more, is where regulated online casinos come better equipped to fairly serve their customers. Regulatory bodies like the Malta Gaming Authorityor the UK Gambling Commission ensure data security, fair gaming, player funds separation, and operator accountability, which means that players can enjoy the full benefits of their chosen form of entertainment in a responsible environment.
To enjoy loot boxes for what they are, game developers could learn a thing or two from regulated online casinos. Players should be given clearly displayed odds, and information on how loot boxes will affect game play. As it stands, in most countries, no in-game safeguards in any way comparable to those offered by licensed online casinos yet exist, making them a questionable alternative to the regulated online casino games.