Valve adds the ability to see your Loot Boxes


As controversy continues regarding loot boxes in Video Games, Valve has taken the initiative to improve the process for their games. Dutch and Belgium have threatened to prosecute gaming companies regarding loot boxes in games. Their ruling stated

“Loot boxes contravene the law if the in-game goods from the loot boxes are transferable. Loot boxes do not contravene the law if the in-game goods from the loot boxes aWhre not transferable.”

Dutch declared four games were guilty and two games are from Valve. The government declared loot boxes had monetary value content but didn’t properly showcase what you earned as it is based on chance. Earlier in June, Valve disabled opening loot boxes and trading gear in the Netherlands, Belgium and Deutschland in CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Operative) and DOTA 2 (Defense of the Ancients 2). 



Now Valve has taken another step for those regions. For DOTA 2, Dutch players can see what the loot box will contain before purchasing it. The game now restricts players by only allowing one box purchase at a time and removing the box opening animation.

Why these specific changes?

The removal of multiple purchases to prevent players from potentially mass purchasing boxes. Previously, multiple box purchases gave you small discounts or extra bonuses for more boxes. Regarding the animation, many loot boxes had fancy animations that were designed to make players feel good about opening them. Psychologist defines the feeling as ‘variable rate reinforcement.’ The adrenaline rush and the dopamines in your brain affect you more if you are unaware of the rewards but they are delivered on a periodic basis. Each game has their own animation and developers put extreme effort to make it look, sound, and feel amazing.

Do you want to see these changes in North America? Or do you think these changes aren’t the right steps to change loot boxes?


PC Gamer – The Joys of Opening Loot Boxes

Valve: CS:GO Forum 7/11 Patch

PCGAMESN – Removal of Trade in the Netherlands


Eurogamer – Removal of Box Trading


Video Game Loot Boxes deemed as gambling in Belgium

This year, governments and countries around the world have been evaluating loot boxes in video games. Discouraged by Gamers, it has become an infamous growth in revenue for video games. Many mobile games and online video games have added loot boxes as a system. Some governments are considering loot boxes as a form of gambling because users rely on chance to earn good in-game items. Recently, the Belgian Gaming Commision has declared randomized loot boxes as a “game of chance” in 3 games: Overwatch, CS: GO, and FIFA


The Belgian Gaming Commission stated the “games don’t disclose the odds of receiving specific in-game items.” The three games must remove their loot boxes or be in criminal violation of the country’s gaming legislation. The fine is €800,000 and five years in prison for the operators. Clarification on who would face the consequences in the company remains to be determined. If the loot boxes affect minors, the punishment is doubled.

What happens next?

Minister of Justice Koen Geens wants to work with the gaming companies, developers, operators and the Belgian Gaming Commission to determine who should be punished for loot boxes. Belgium is one of the first countries that took a stance against loot boxes in games during the Star Wars: Battlefront 2 controversy. Hawaii, Washington D.C. and several countries are trying to create laws to limit the purchase of loot boxes in games.


Koen Geens – Minister of Justice


Bully Hunters Group Ends after 5 Days

Last week, a group of female gamers known as “Bully Hunters” was created. The organization was created with collaboration from FCB Chicago, a marketing agency.   Their goal was to attack players who harassed women players in Counter Strike: Global Offense. They described themselves as “vigilante hit squad of elite female gamers.” The Bully Hunters would attack harassers of women from the game with their “skills and talent.” Bully Hunters was backed by some high-profile supporters: Twitch streamer ZombiUnicorn, a spokesperson for the campaign, as well as SteelSeries, Vertagear, CyberPowerPC, the Diverse Gaming Coalition, and the National Organization for Women. Their goal was to bring more awareness of online gaming bullying. A noble goal but Bully Hunters had suspicious activities from day one.

Their debut stream showcased footage that was prerecorded, excessive promotion of their sponsor, Steel Series, and a poor statistic showcase of harassment in games.

Many sponsors stopped supporting Bully Hunters after the first stream. They began to disagree and were misled with the methods of how Bully Hunters worked. Natalie “ZombiUnicorn” Casanova was another part of Bully Hunters that was heavily scrutinized. She is a YouTube and Twitch streamer. Many tweets, streamed footage included her using homophobic slurs and using offensive language. They were spread across Twitter and social media websites to discredit her as an appropriate spokesperson. Casanova defended her responses as they were in the past, particularly the stream footage which was 6 years old. She also defended her use of foul languages as they were responses back to online harassment.

After 5 days, Bully Hunter has been disbanded. FCB Chicago announced the disbandment of the organization on April 17th. All videos, websites, and social media pages have been deleted. The Global Chief Communications officer, Brandon Cooke, stated: “As this effort did not live up to our high standards, we decided to end this program, but hope the conversation it has raised around ending harassment in gaming continues.”

Business Perspective:

Everyone can agree that the gaming community can be improved. There are different communities for different games so its impossible to target every gamer. Online competitive gaming communities are notorious for being unwelcoming to women. However, creating a group of women players to attack players was a dangerous tactic that didn’t work. The way Bully Hunters were marketed as a serious, dangerous group of females but ended up being a joke before the end of the day. It makes them too serious without proving their abilities. All talk and no action, especially since the first stream footage was revealed to be fake.

Some trolls can escalate their negative emotions through gaming. “Not only does engaging griefers and trolls validate their negative behavior, it can also backfire and antagonize them, increasing the aggression towards their targets,” said Holly Greene, an assistant editor for Paste Games and has done work on Gamasutra, Polygon, Unwinnable, and other video game news publications.


PC Gamer – Bully Hunter Origin

PC Gamer – Bully Hunters Disband

FCB Agency

Steel Series Statement on Bully Hunters

Diverse Gamer drops Sponsorship message