If you are into online entertainment, you’ve probably played video games, and if you consider yourself a gamer, the phrase “loot boxes” is likely more than familiar to you. But do you know the origin of the element that appears on your screen in most games? Keep reading and we will tell you.
What are ‘loot boxes’?
First of all, let’s define this term for those readers that are not related to the topic. Depending on the type of game in which it appears, a “loot box” is also known as ‘loot crate’ or ‘prize create’, and it is a virtual item that provides benefits to the player to advance within the game. As explained on this website, ‘loot boxes’ are similar to casinos bonuses, since their main goal is to get the player really immersed into the game.
How and when it was created?
What we know today as a “loot box” first appeared between 2007 and 2010, so it is a fairly young item. Some think that it is an invention that belongs to Zhengtu Network, since the first time it was seen was in one of its games, ZT Online, and from then on it became popular. In fact, in the FIFA – Ultimate Team video game series, players were offered an ‘envelope’ with different benefits to stand out from the rest.
However, the story goes back a little further. Previously in video games, a reward or incentive to players appeared randomly, only that the loot boxes are their monetized version. It is thought that this first version appeared on Japanese MapleStory, around 2004, being quite successful.
Why were loot boxes created?
When creating a video game, the developers study how to keep the attention of the players. That is, what factors make players move their attention to something other than the game, what motivations do they find to continue playing, is it really the plot that they love? These and many other questions arise during the investigation.
As expected, when a player is active, there is the possibility that they will quit the game, and may not return to it at another time. Or, due to high demand, decide on another one that is more interesting to you. It is for this reason that video game developers found in loot boxes a way to engage the player, and of course, loyalty.
When did it become popular in the rest of the world?
As we have seen, it is a strategy that was introduced in video games in Asia. Thanks to its effectiveness and the positive reaction among the players, in a short time it spread to the rest of the world. In 2009, Zynga, and other great game creators, introduced it for free in games available on platforms like Facebook.
This move was not other than a springboard to ultimate success, since in 2011 loot boxes appeared in extremely popular games such as Star Trek or The Lord of the Rings.
As we have explained, loot boxes have become an essential feature of video games, which is why gamers are so closely related to this term. In any case, if you are thinking of making use of this item the next time you play, we recommend that you first investigate whether in your case it will be beneficial to invest in it or not.
How do loot boxes work?
To begin with, you must have to buy it first. It starts when;
- A player buys it from the in-game store. Keep in mind that you have to use the real currency for this purchase and not game coins or similar rewards.
- All such boxes contain random items usually 3 or 4. These items are related to the game and can increase your winning chances. Thus, the player will now open it up and get his rewards.
- The type of item that you get is completely your luck. It might be extraordinary armor or a powerful weapon that can change your game. Or it might be something simple like some customization to your avatar or some new outfits.
- However, the prices for all loot boxes are not the same. You will get different types including the “legendary” or “rare” type loot box. Though a pricier box never ensures something breathtaking but it might be something better.
These are meant for increasing the in-game spending market. And it has proved to be something good for in-game monetization. However, it is considered an equally controversial method for gaming monetization.
Therefore, a lot of gamers are found to be complaining about them. And this matter becomes so serious sometimes that even the federal government has to deal with it.
The controversial aspect
Gamers have clearly two points of view regarding the in-game loot boxes. Either they are against it or they are in favor.
The gamers who like these state that they enhance the seamless experience. You can easily purchase a box and you get something exciting every time. Even if there is no surety that the items will be extraordinary, there is still a high chance that they will be of great value.
At least one of the items can make the quest better. This is especially important for gamers who want to upgrade their game character and their level. You will get some extra tools and it will make your game better than the competitors.
However, the anti-group do not think the same. According to them, this is not a good thing for gamers. It takes away the equal opportunity to win the quest and pass the levels. Not everyone is capable of buying them. According to them, we have already paid for the game, why should we pay extra for items?
Moreover, if someone is not good at gaming, he will be able to get to the higher level with the help of upgraded weapons and armor. So how is it an equal opportunity for all? Some players are clearly at an advantage over others simply because they have money.
Is it some sort of gambling?
This is another common thing that people often hear about loot boxes. So is it really gambling or just a word of mouth? This is not gambling because the buyer is not sure whether he will get the items worth the money they are spending. Sometimes the items are just useless.
However, it is the statement from a group. Some people think that it makes some people addicted. They can pay to win the quest. So they start using this method and waste a lot of money. So it is gambling.