With more AAA games being released with loot boxes in them, the discussion has been shifting towards legislation around their use and implementation. The ESRB came forth stating that they don’t feel that loot boxes are a form of a gambling. I personally disagree with that, and to discuss it, we need to look at the foundation of their design.
Another Nintendo Mobile game was released recently and is lighting up the sales charts: Fire Emblem Heroes. While Super Mario Run was unconventional with its pricing model, Fire Emblem is making use of “gacha” or “gashapon.” Even though they are similar to loot box design, gacha features some unique twists for us to look at.
In our continued look at F2P mechanics and design, we turn to the use of loot boxes. F2P design has changed over the years, as monetization tactics like pay or wait have fallen by the wayside, but are loot boxes any better for the consumer?