As of recently it’s pretty hard to not go on YouTube or various social media sites and not see all the buzz about loot boxes. These seemingly harmless randomized boxes have become almost hated by some and for others, are considered a form of gambling causing some states to want to ban players from playing games with loot boxes in them. That is of course if you’re underage, but even still it’s amazing that loot boxes have been getting so much attention. That’s why many of us here at Honey’s Anime HQ have begun to discuss our opinions on these in game randomized items and have asked ourselves this question. Loot Boxes: Are They Really Worth It?
For us to answer this thought provoking question, we decided to list all the positives about loot crates down below. We go into as much depth as possible to explain our opinions—which is our opinions and may counter your own so please be considerate of that—and prove what we mean makes sense. We are going to try our hardest to explain the greatness of loot boxes and why they should be allowed in video games and how they actually enhance the games they are in. Now, let us begin with our article and defend the concept of loot boxes in video games.
Many video games nowadays don’t have an element that was found in titles from the yesteryear of gaming, replay value. Outside of third person shooters or MMORPGs, many video games just lack that reason to play once the credits roll and we can completely understand this issue. Why should you go through a game again if you’re not given incentive to keep playing? Many might find solace in replaying a game on harder difficulties or 100% the game by finding collectibles and secret areas, yet some of us want more than that. We want gear and items which loot boxes can provide.
Here’s a still relevant game for many of you to think of when you think of loot boxes, the pseudo first person online shooter Destiny 2. While Destiny 2’s popularity has plummeted as of late—which is a shame to be honest—Destiny 2 keeps some players around even today with loot boxes in the form of Engrams. These hexagonal items give players random gear/items/weapons based on RNG—random number generator—and keep players wanting to do raids and missions way after beating the game a singular time. Even here at Honey’s Anime, we curse when we don’t get a good drop from these loot box items but that just compels us to play for another 5-10 hours to hopefully get an item we want. Loot boxes have an addictive nature to them but that same addiction is what makes us gamers want them and adds to the longevity of a game that wouldn’t honestly last beyond 8 hours.
As we mentioned above, loot boxes offer up replay value obviously but the reason for that replayability is in the form of rewards. Even in life, people love being rewarded for doing anything. Go to class after studying for days and hope you’re rewarded with a good grade, go on a date with a cute girl or a guy and hope a kiss and possible future dates will be rewards for your charm during the date. Rewards come in all shapes and sizes but in the gaming world rewards come best served as loot boxes. The thrill of seeing a loot box—in any form—open and throw in your character’s arms a shiny new armor piece or cool new weapon is gratifying and truly amazing.
Rewards are a good thing for games and the reason why we should love loot boxes. Not only are we players pouring our free time into these games—whether that free time is after school, college or work—but we are keeping these games alive by doing so. That’s why being rewarded for playing multiplayer for hundreds of hours or redoing the same quest we’ve done a dozen times is a nice pay off. It shows our hard work has merit and is worth it in the long run. Sometimes we do wish developers would make rewards from loot boxes a bit more numerous and less on super luck—RNG sometimes is evil if we’re being honest—but we also wouldn’t want rewards spewed at us at every possible interval. Seriously, imagine getting a new shiny super overpowered gun every ten seconds…that wouldn’t be fun and it would lead to the game just being boring and overly easy which would kill its replay value.
Outside the video game world, there is the sport of gambling. At its core, gambling is meant to be a risk/reward sport that occasionally gives out money or other goodies to those who put in time or money into them. Gambling is sometimes—for some—addictive and possibly dangerous as there are people who pour thousands of dollars into games that give them either a few dollars back or none at all. That’s why loot crates are a perfect alternative to gambling. Let us explain more of what we mean.
While loot boxes can be bought with money—which we know many of you were thinking of as soon as we said what we said—they equally don’t often need real-life currency. In games like Overwatch for example, loot boxes are gained from playing various arcade modes, leveling up in game and random gifts depending on the current real-world season. Sure, you’re still technically gambling because you’re opening up unknown items of which you have no clue of their content but these boxes are free and safe to open. If you’re not into first person shooters and want to feel like you’re in Las Vegas, there are hundreds of free—keyword free—mobile apps that allow you to gamble with fake money and not real money. Just be sure to not get addicted to these fake forms of gambling either because it can be pretty fun to get jackpots without spending a penny in real life.
Support the game
Now we mentioned in the section above that loot boxes don’t always require real money but we also stated they could be bought with real life currency, too. For those that are responsible adults—or at least have responsible guardians/parents—loot boxes can actually help game developers out by investing in them. Sure, this is how loot boxes become forms of gambling, but equally, this isn’t a gamble that goes nowhere like say a slot machine or playing a game of blackjack. Putting money into loot boxes is like putting money into the developer’s hands and in this case, that’s not a bad idea. If you’re still not convinced or don’t fully understand what we mean, we can further explain our thoughts here.
Once more, let us talk about two familiar games we’ve mentioned several times in this article already. Destiny 2 and Overwatch are games we mentioned above but feeding loot box money into these games—while helpful—isn’t that necessary. These two behemoth titles are run by developers who have significant money already and while we’re not saying to not support them, you shouldn’t have to feel like you need to put more money into either game. In games like Star Trek Online or Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, loot boxes help with developers to keep the games running and to sometimes do more for players. What will that real-life money be used for exactly? We honestly can’t tell you and it could be a gamble in of itself. However, we trust that developers have their hearts in the right places with money they receive via players and in turn it helps us support the games we love playing for hours on end. Just remember though to be smart about your support and only buy loot boxes if you have extra funds on hand and or ask permission from your parents/legal guardians.
Loot boxes in video games are truly harmless if done correctly folks. These sacred items to some gamers are meant to be rewarding—and occasionally frustrating—when you get a rare or legendary item you’ve been yearning for. Loot boxes aren’t evil video game concepts but many see only the harm in them when that same harm could be eliminated through smart game developers putting systems in play to avoid bad end results. Now we’ll open the floor to you folks out there in the gaming world. What are your opinions on loot boxes? Do you think they are the best thing ever or should they be abolished from every game currently out and possibly any game in the future to include them? Comment your thoughts down below and for more editorial articles like this one be sure to keep coming back to our hive here at Honey’s Anime!