In recent years, loot boxes have been repeatedly criticized. Last but not least, they have been labeled "kids' gambling" and have been banned in several countries. So it's hardly surprising that more and more games are leaving loot boxes in the past and going other ways. Now the new Overwatch 2 is joining this movement and leaving loot boxes behind.
What's the problem?
Loot boxes are heavily criticized because, according to consumer advocates, they represent a form of children's gambling. The boxes are often designed in a manipulative way in order to further increase their potential for addiction. This is a big problem for many. That is why the controversial boxes were also banned in Belgium, for example. In this case, the game “FIFA 22”, which made great use of loot boxes, was particularly criticized.
The end for loot boxes? Tough restrictions on children's gambling planned
According to several consumer groups, consumer manipulation strategies were used. For example, loot box win probabilities are often difficult to understand and even more difficult to verify. This makes them particularly profitable for use in games. In general, it is very difficult to verify the legitimacy of gambling in the virtual space. Great caution is therefore always required.
Overwatch 2 and loot boxes
Overwatch is a free game. In the first part, players got any new maps and heroes for free. Loot boxes gave the opportunity to unlock new cosmetic details for the individual heroes. However, those who did not want this could play completely free of charge. Now the new “Overwatch 2” is just around the corner, which should also be free. However, the system of controversial loot boxes should not be used here. However, since the developers of the game still have to be paid, a different system for monetizing the game is now to be found.
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According to the new concept, players should continue to receive all new maps and heroes for free. Instead of loot boxes, there are cosmetic upgrades through a Battle Pass. The Battle Pass system has become popular not least because of the game "Fortnite" and has found wide approval. The advantage compared to loot boxes? With the Battle Pass, players always know what they can achieve and unlock. The gambling aspect of the loot boxes is thus lost. So for many players, a Battle Pass is a reasonable way to monetize a game without falling into the gambling trap. The Overwatch 2 Battle Pass is designed to be renewed with each season and offer new bonuses that players can earn. Battle Passes work in that players pay a fixed amount once and then have until the end of the pass to earn various rewards through play.
According to consumer advocates, this system is a lot better. It prevents immense expenses and also creates transparency, which is not the case with loot boxes. The Battle Pass system is also often more appealing to players. Here the successes depend on the actual game and not on mere coincidence.