The Loot Crate Controversy

The Loot Crate Controversy

How is this not gambling?

 Gamers have been protesting microtransactions for years. But recently, game designers and publishers have escalated the situation with so-called "loot crates." 

Add gambling to microtransactions, and you've got loot crates. They are designed to be as addictive and flashy as possible, often with the consulting input of the same psychologists who design scratch-off tickets and slot machines.

Loot crates are an annoyance for most players. They put desired items behind a wall of randomness. But they are a serious issue for players who have issues with gambling addiction, for obvious reasons. 

And yet, loot crates do not fall under gambling industry regulations. Why? Because the gaming industry claims they are not really gambling, since you always get something, even if it's a junk item. (Although they do acknowledge that there is an "element of chance" involved.) Imagine scratch-off tickets that cost $1 each, but you always "win" at least a penny when you play them. Same flimsy argument.

Since the ESRB doesn't consider loot crates to be gambling, this doesn't show up on the "back of the box" warning labels. And thus, loot crates can be found in games which are aimed at young children.

The best solution to loot crates at this time is to refuse to purchase them. Vote with your dollars, and hopefully this trend will wither away.