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Are Loot Boxes and Micro-transactions Going Too Far?

During 2017 it seems that loot boxes and micro-transactions have suddenly taken over most of our titles. The biggest and most controversial lately has been EA and its pay to win system in Star Wars Battlefront 2. While paying has been “temporarily” switched off, the game offers an unfair advantage to those with money to spend on micro-transactions and also makes it unfair for those who struggled to pay for the £50 game on its own, free DLC or not, this was a bad move, it was already proved that there was character customization which I said was a disappointing take away and having cosmetic loot boxes as opposed to these atrocities would have been a lot fairer in my review HERE. If that wasn’t already bad EA seemed to have shoved the same type of system in Need for Speed Payback and most recently UFC 3. The FIFA version of microtransactions already stunned me years ago by having to pay to earn players. While EA is making money off this, the games they produce are lacking any solid content. Let’s move away from the EA bashing and have a look at other loot box systems. Overwatch has its cosmetic loot box system and while I think it is a lot fairer than most and it’s pretty easy to gain the skins without paying money into them, kids or gamblers may accidentally spend way too much on these without thinking. Halo 5 and its req packs are the same, but the stuff in the packs can offer advantages making it even more tempting to spend spend spend.

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We live in a world where triple-A gaming is becoming more about making money than making fans, not all games, not all publishers are guilty of this but some of the top and most mainstream ones are taking to this system and it’s ruining gaming. I don’t blame the developers whatsoever, I feel that the pressure put on them is immense while EA and others are more about the money than putting heart and soul into a game. When DLC started making an impact I didn’t mind paying for amazing adds-ons but cosmetic items and maps costing £7.99 to £20 was just a bit too much whereas Skyrim and Fallout 3 had some amazing add-ons. Some DLC was worth the extra money but it made you feel separate from the rest who could afford it. While people moved on to Battlefield or Call of Duty too new maps you’d be stuck with the default ones. Shouldn’t we all be given these maps? Call me hypocritical but the triple-A industry seems to be more about greed nowadays while the indie publishers like Wired Productions, Devolver Digital, Indie-Fund and many others keep delivering solid games full of creativity and content that won’t keep charging insane amounts of money to unlock a skin or a power-up. Even Nintendo hasn’t bowed down to the micro-transaction, loot box fiasco, I feel that the big companies that are incorporating all this into there games need to listen to the people who give them money, the players, the developers and not listen to the bank account.

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Thank you to the developers in the gaming world that don’t riddle your games with pay to win, loot boxes or micro-transactions, you give the gaming world hope and amazing content. Never stop what you’re doing.

 

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