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Opinion: Games with PAID Loot Boxes should have Adult Only Ratings

Before I continue, I want to preface that I *love* gacha games. I play Arknights every day and I’ve bought a few crates in TF2 and Overwatch before. I think they can be incredibly fun and can be responsible entertainment, for adults, that is. Unfortunately a lot of these games are accessible to children and companies need to take responsibility for that.

Loot crates / mystery boxes / etc have a lot of names, but they aren’t really called by what they are, which is gambling. I don’t really have much experience with gambling addictions and child psychology, but I’m not the only one with this opinion, either. With headlines like “Number of child gamblers quadruples in just two years” it’s pretty alarming to see the problem they create for families across the world.

I am not talking about the free loot boxes, just to say. My problem lies with the ones that use real currency (translated to in-game currency) to unlock mystery items.

Any gamer you would talk to, would also agree that gaming is just better off without real currency surprise loot elements. In general, games that are very ‘pay to win’ create a large divide in the community of free2players and paywhales. I don’t have a problem with games that include such things, but I think they can be very dangerous in children who already have struggles coping to feel like they fit in IRL and now online, too.

Just because it is difficult to prevent kids from playing gambling games doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least try. Parents are pretty knowledgeable about the ESRB and ratings, and if a game gets an AO / adult only rating, it’s essentially considered very hard to get sales. This is very clear if you look at the controversy around GTA V and the AO rating they fought very hard to avoid.

I personally feel like that legal pressure ALONE would force the hands of many game development studios to consider more ‘creative’ alternatives than tricking people out of their hard earned money in order to unlock virtual content they’ve technically already paid for and have downloaded in their game files.

Dear video game companies: please stop marketing loot systems with real currency to children. If in-game loot purchases need to be made by an adult in the child’s life, the game shouldn’t be aimed at a child to begin with. It’s predatory and it needs to stop.

I’d love to hear any supporting / disagreeing opinions below if you feel like it! Thanks for reading.


  • Buggy803

    I highly agree with you not this matter. In like the Call of Duty games, it’s ‘pay to win’ kinda because you can by crates with in-game currency that you can only get by spending real money on just for like a new weapon to use. Now imagine kids playing the games (even though they aren’t supposed to) knowing if they want a certain weapon, they would need to spend real money and practically gamble just for that weapon they want.

  • TomokoTrash

    except can you get those guns for free for playing thr game. you only buy variants (can’t change attachments you get what you pay for) and use them early but not the base model which you can change. idk if that’s considered p2w when considering the fact younjust l get a new gun; no double exp no boosters. only the the gun. it’s not a lootbox. it’s a store

    • TomokoTrash

      *i really need to proofread
      *im for an updated ESRB rating but i dont thinking buying a weapons automatically makes a game p2w unless it’s intentionally overpowered

  • Florim

    I think loot box are the both : it’s cool ; you pay for some random things but it’s bad because, some games look pay to win with this (hello Battlefront 2) or it’s “just” cosmetic, but there is one cosmetics very rare you want but with 50 boxes, the cosmetic don’t come to you but you fell a pice of hope for getting it : you spend more money to get the 0,1% legendary and and imagine the box is at the price of 1$ and you get the cosmetic at the 1000th boxe : 1000$ for a cosmetic : worse than the Battlefront loot box

    • cakecatboy

      the alternative is that you would get all those skins for free, they would be free and already in the game haha

  • Florim

    If they do that, the creator of the game will create a game with no incoming money to pay the creators and the other for creating the game.

    But sometimes, I’ll take the exemple of Overwatch, a skin can be bought for good things like all the monney for a Mercy skin to fight the Breast cancer.

  • Nilos

    Young children tend to not have a concept of the value of money, more so if they never have to work for it. So they’d just spend if they could, not knowing the consequences of their spending.
    And yeah paid loot boxes are gambling, and can be addictive. An 18+ restriction would prevent game companies from so easily preying on the most vulnerable of gamers.

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