Video game developers constantly look for new ways to surprise and engage players. An example of this is loot boxes, which represent consumable virtual items.

This feature first appeared in the early 2000s, specifically in several games released between 2004 and 2007. Today, loot boxes are also known as loot and prize crates and can be found in dozens of titles.

They represent virtual items that users can buy with real money or sometimes in-game currency. The exciting thing about them is that you never know what you might get until you pay and open them.

Some can bring you purely aesthetic rewards, such as a skin for your weapon, a sticker, clothing, or something similar. On the other hand, some loot boxes can significantly affect your progress in the game by bringing you powerful weapons, upgrades for existing weapons and equipment, resources, character upgrades, etc.

According to many, the concept of loot boxes is similar to that of the well-known Japanese toy vending machines – gacha. When you use gacha, you pay to open plastic capsules that carry different toys.

Why Did Video Game Loot Boxes Become Popular?

Many were skeptical when this new mechanic appeared in video games (as we said, sometime in 2004). However, after some period, more and more game designers, developers, and players started accepting it. There are several reasons why this happened.

Let’s mention that the primary goal of many manufacturers is to get an additional source of income. Users indeed pay for video games, but usually, this happens once. Then, they expect to receive game updates, and those improvements and enrichments require investments by game developers.

Developers get part of the funds they need for this purpose through loot boxes. That’s how they support and maintain the game they created. Nowadays, it’s also done through paid DLC (downloadable content) and other models.

However, some criticize this approach to gaming as there is concern that players may develop gambling habits. That makes sense because they are random, and there are no limits on how much can be spent on loot boxes.

So, if the excitement you feel turns into a habit, it might be better to consider real online gambling. Casino games are a great way to have fun. They have many similarities with video games. Here, we are especially thinking about online slots real money options. These games have a variety of themes and stories—from medieval fantasy and ancient mythology to space exploration and dystopian worlds.

Online slots, like loot boxes, offer an element of chance and excitement. They typically

feature reels with various symbols, and players win by matching these symbols across paylines. Many slots incorporate bonus rounds, free spins, and progressive jackpots, adding layers of engagement similar to unlocking rare items in loot boxes.

Undoubtedly, loot boxes promise an exciting and engaging experience. The surprise factor is what makes the gameplay more memorable. Sometimes, with a small investment, you can make a significant step in the game that will save you time.

In this section, we should also mention the free games for which these loot boxes are the only way to get financial support. So, players support the game without paying a total amount upfront.

What Can we Expect From Loot Boxes in The future?

It is not easy to predict what will happen with loot boxes in the future. Like many other elements of video games, they are subject to change and evolution. However, most experts in the field agree that this concept will not go away.

What can be expected is to pay more attention to gambling concerns. Most of these titles are also available to minors who do not yet have financial resources. It can lead to problems in the family. It is not uncommon for children to use credit/debit cards from their parents without their knowledge.

The legislation may bring a stricter regulation of loot boxes by imposing an obligation on game developers and publishers to mention that this option is only allowed to adults explicitly. In addition, age verification can be requested, and advice can be shared regarding the risk of developing problematic behavior if this feature is not approached responsibly.

At the same time, since there are games where loot boxes contain items that give players a competitive advantage, we would also like to see changes in this section.

This is a model that encourages irresponsible behavior, especially among vulnerable categories such as minors. The possible exploitation is reason enough to pass a regulation that would disable such options or require better highlighting of this approach from the beginning of the game.

Finally, in the future, we should see increased transparency. Players have the right to know the odds of receiving specific items from loot boxes. Something similar exists in casino games, such as information about the game’s volatility or RTP (return to player).