Epic Games, acquired Psyonix, the developer of Rocket League earlier this year. While that came as a pretty surprising move, it was a kind of welcome change for the game. For an industry-giant like Epic to back an Esport game, with a very strong community that is still at a nascent stage, was something the community looked at pretty optimistically. However, with that move, the surprises didn’t end. Soon after the acquisition, we got to know about the next big thing on the radar for Rocket League, that is, the removal of loot boxes from the game.
Epic Games announced that the game will no longer have loot boxes, and while the community stands divided on the decision and the implementation of the same, the move sets a very good precedent for the gaming industry. Existing crates in the game were converted into blueprints, which showed what item can be crafted by utilizing a set number of credits, depending on rarity and finish. Credits, of course, can be bought using real money. However, what’s praiseworthy is the removal of loot boxes, which depended on RNG, and indirectly supported unethical methods like gambling.
The biggest victim of loot boxes were children who get lured by the lucrative offerings and end up spending large sums of money, obviously because of the fact that they are not aware of the consequences. While the fact that the presence of microtransactions in a game still might lead to some of these impulsive purchases by children, at the end of the day, they still get what they see, and don’t get lured into paying for something which they have a less than 1% of chance of acquiring.
While the gaming community stands divided on the outlook about microtransactions, loot boxes are something a majority have been vocal about. While the governments in various countries have also been pretty vocal about loot boxes in general, Epic Games voluntarily dropping loot boxes is something that is praiseworthy. That being said, the community has been vocal about the pricing of the items in the store. They are a tad on the higher side, causing outrage by the community. Psyonix was quick to address the issue and eventually listened to the feedback by the fans by reducing the prices of the items.
Keeping all the hate the PC gaming community has against Epic Games for their exclusivity, they seem to be setting some good benchmarks for the industry.