Loot boxes have become a pretty big issue, especially since the Star Wars Battlefront 2 fiasco. Now, even Overwatch loot boxes are under investigation in Belgium.
Overwatch loot boxes issue
According to Kotaku, Belgium’s Gaming Commission is currently looking into the issue of lootboxes in gaming – specifically for Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Overwatch. The general director, Peter Naessens, claimed that the practice may be similar to gambling in a sense that players don’t know what they are paying for until they open the box.
Moreover, it seems like the issue is quite sensitive as the game is marketed towards children, hence the PEGI 12 rating. Moreover, loot boxes may also act as a bad influence to minors because of the “societal pressure” of growing stronger by buying loot boxes. That said, Overwatch isn’t pay-to-win and the Blizzard co-founder recently spoke up about his stance on the issue.
If the investigation does find that these practices are similar to gambling, the Commision would need to provide a permit. Moreover, it could also lead to omitting publishers from creating the same business practice.
What’s in a loot box
Loot boxes have been around in Overwatch since Blizzard launched the game last year. These crates contain purely cosmetic items that fans can equip on specific characters. These cosmetics range from skins, sprays, voice lines, player icons, victory poses, highlight intros, and the like. What’s important to note is that loot boxes are not pay-to-win since these items will not give players an edge.
However, many fans complained about the number of duplicates these Overwatch loot boxes were dropping. Blizzard adjusted this not too long ago by severly reducing the amount of copies players will get. Loot box demand usually peaks during seasonal events because of all the new cosmetic items. However, there is no power boosting or unlockable characters.