The loot boxes in video games have sparked controversy recently and it seems the topic is still a hot potato in the gaming community. A new petition, available at Change.org has surfaced. It was started by a Slovenian Lovro Pirjevec and calls for a re-evaluation of the loot boxes and classifying them as a form of gambling. At the time of writing, the petition is signed by 55,352 people but the number is rapidly growing.
The petition expresses the viewpoint of many gamers and essentially, it calls for a complete removal of loot boxes from video games. However, that idea has attracted a lot of opponents who asked the petition supporters to count all Adults Only-rated games that have achieved a massive popularity.
According to ESRB verdict, the loot boxes cannot be defined as a form of gambling as they always contain a reward, while in gambling, the player may place a bet and get nothing in return.
Loot boxes are not something new to the gaming industry. However, some video game publishers introduced loot box categories that give players a competitive advantage. Although most publishers stick to offering emotes or skins, the alarming “pay to win” tendency seems to be a major concern among players. Despite being picked at the random principle the items the loot boxes contain, may dramatically change the outcome of the match.
The loot boxes are an accelerating trend, but people with extensive knowledge in the gaming industry are likely to believe that their dominance is temporary. It remains to be seen if the petition would have any impact on the previous ESRB ruling and whether the organization would change its stance about the gambling nature of the loot boxes.