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24th Sep 2019

Do gaming loot boxes encourage gambling?

Wayne Farry

Loot boxes are a contentious issue in gaming currently

There was a time, not too long ago, that when you paid for a video game, that was it. You owned the game. You had access to everything it had to offer for the price you paid. Perhaps there would be an expansion pack, but once you paid for that you’d own it too.

We don’t live in those times anymore though. Nowadays you buy a video game, often for a quite a large sum of money, but remain unable to access certain features.

This is where loot boxes come in. Rather than simply granting you access to an item within the game, loot boxes offer you the chance to access a variety of randomised items, with your chances of receiving a better item improved by the more money you pay.

This has led people to likening loot boxes to gambling. We spoke to two people who have been critics of the practice, Matt Zarb-Cousin and David Zendle, about the link between the two.