It’s been reported that there is a new law on its way to be voted on by the Senate with regards to loot boxes in the game industry. If this goes through, it means not only cutting the free to play market at the kneecaps, but also government intervention on the game industry. Reading through the entire bill, I wanted to share my thoughts on what this could mean for the industry, and why there must be a better way.
News continues to grow regarding regulating Loot Boxes and their impact on game design, monetization, and consumer behavior. At this point, we must be in the hundreds as to videos or posts decrying the use of loot boxes.
However, it’s important when studying loot boxes to look at why they’re so popular, and when the line gets crossed into predatory practices.
The Free to Play market continues to be a major attractor to fans and developers alike. Each year, we hear big numbers being thrown around early in a title’s lifespan. However, one area that isn’t discussed as much is player retention despite how important it is. Free to play game design suffers from a major game design issue that anyone interested in developing their own game must come to terms with.
We’ve talked about feedback loops before and how powerful they are to motivate someone to keep playing a game. Given their popularity, the F2P genre has been making use of their own feedback loop to ensnare people into spending money. For today’s post, we’re going to talk about why this works and the harm it can do to game balance.