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
PCGAMESN – Removal of Trade in the Netherlands