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It’s safe to say that most casual and hardcore Overwatch players have spent a pretty penny on loot boxes in Blizzard’s wildly popular team-based FPS, Overwatch. However, we don’t necessarily ever hear too much complaining from the community regarding the loot boxes, unless of course, it’s involving the frequency of duplicates, which has since been dealt with. So, why is it that Overwatch has been left out of the conversation when it comes to loot boxes?
Well, it’s probably because nothing you receive in loot boxes in Overwatch is really affecting your gameplay in any way whatsoever. You don’t get special weapons or abilities from Overwatch’s loot boxes, you only get cosmetics, voice lines, emotes, sprays and player icons. Occasionally you’ll get some tokens in a loot box, which can then be used to buy these very same things for your favorite heroes without having to let fate decide. Nothing about Overwatch’s loot boxes make the game pay-to-win, and Blizzard’s president and co-founder Mike Morhaime is holding firm to the belief that Overwatch is not and shouldn’t be involved in the loot box controversy.
In a recent interview at BlizzCon this past weekend, Morhaime gave his thoughts on a variety of topics from Battle.net, upcoming expansions and even his take on the rising controversy surrounding the use of loot boxes. With regards to the practice, he doesn’t believe he sees a problem with earning randomized items from in-game crates, and that whatever the current controversy is surrounding loot crates and their connection to gambling and making games pay-to-win, Overwatch doesn’t belong in that conversation.
To expand upon his views, Morhaime noted that it is something the studio monitors and that they’ve worked hard to avoid. As for this idea of loot crates being linked to a type of gambling, he believes that only applies if there’s an element of converting items back into real-world value. As such, Overwatch doesn’t fit because there’s no way to take those items and make money off of them. On the other hand, games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds allow you to actually sell your items that you receive in loot crates on the Steam marketplace, and some cosmetics are being auctioned for hundreds of dollars. In this sense, it’s easy to see where the line is drawn and in all reality, Overwatch’s loot boxes are really quite harmless.
What are your views on loot boxes? A fun part of a progression or totally unnecessary?