Are loot boxes considered gambling? That’s the question lots of folks in the game industry have been pondering lately.
Regardless of what the answer is, Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime doesn’t belive that Overwatch’s loot boxes even belong in the discussion. “I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with crates that give you randomized items,” Morhaime told Game Informer during BlizzCon 2017. “I think that whatever the controversy is, I don’t think Overwatch belongs in that controversy.”
Loot boxes have come under scrutiny as players are often required to spend actual money to purchase randomized boxes. There’s little guarantee of what’s inside the box, and plenty of players consider that a form of gambling. Indeed, the Chinese government agreed: A Chinese law put into effect on May 1 forces game developers to reveal drop percentages for items in loot boxes.
Blizzard has since released loot box drop rates for all regions.
Overwatch’s loot boxes simply include cosmetic items, which removes a “pay-to-play” element from the situation.
“[“Pay-for-power is”] definitely something we’ve avoided,” Morhaime said. “I think another element, in terms of the gambling question…there’s an element of converting back into real-world value. I think that’s a critical element, and that element does not exist in Overwatch loot crates.”
Fans aren’t always happy with Overwatch’s loot boxes, though. That could soon change, as Blizzard is answering one request from the Overwatch community by adding more base skins into its regular loot boxes. That’s right, all of Overwatch’s new Blizzard World skins will be available in normal, everyday loot boxes.
That’s sure to make Overwatch fans happy, at least for a while.
H/T Game Informer