Microtransactions. Loot boxes. These words tend to disappoint most gamers when a new game is coming out. Remember the good old days where you had to earn new skins and weapons by simply playing the game? Sure, you had to put in the hours, but when you hit that level cap or completed the set requirements you were rewarded with some awesome new gear. Today, some of the biggest titles have some form of microtransactions implemented into the game itself. Battlefield 1, Overwatch, Forza Motorsport 7, and the upcoming Star Wars shooter, Battlefront II.
Now, loot boxes and microtransactions aren’t entirely bad as this article might imply. It’s okay that players can purchase certain content if it doesn’t add an unfair advantage above other players. Things such player skins, icons, emotes, etc. are the type of content that most gamers would consider okay for purchase. The issue arises when games offer “pay to win” features that give players more powerful weapons and gear, essentially putting players who can’t afford these microtransactions at a disadvantage among other players.
While the loot boxes in Overwatch offer only cosmetic content for each character, the chance of getting the exact skin or highlight intro you want is very slim. Now, you don’t need to buy loot boxes to get this content, you can simply level up by playing more matches. The problem is, even if you purchase loot boxes, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the skin you want. Loot boxes are a gamble, and any player who’s engrained in the game can easily get sucked into dishing out more cash on loot boxes.
The game facing the most backlash for its addition of loot boxes is Battlefront II. These microtransactions are the fastest way for players to get their hands on the best and most powerful weapons in the game. Anyone who’s played the multiplayer beta earlier this month will tell you how difficult online matches are going to be. Imagine going up against other players who have way better equipment and powerups all because they can have more money than you.
We all know the price of games is only going to increase, so wouldn’t it make sense to include more content in these expensive games? It’s no secret that game publishers are only trying to grow sales, and we as gamers understand that these companies need money to create more content. The truth is some game companies are hiding content behind a pay wall. It has become the norm for video games to include loot boxes and microtransactions, and gamers have become numb to this tactic by game companies. Some gamers are concerned, as it seems taht if you want to do well in an online game, you no longer need to have skill, you need a credit card.
Do you agree that microtransactions and loot boxes are hurting video games? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.