We have seen a lot of heat when it comes to the word microtransactions and loot boxes – with the latter as the most targeted. This year, triple A, or “AAA”, games have incorporated loot boxes in titles such as Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Star Wars Battlefront II, Destiny 2, Call of Duty: WWII, and even the upcoming Need for Speed Payback.
In 2016, Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch introduced and popularized loot boxes. However, these loot boxes, which can be bought with real life money, does not give players advantage as the items they get are purely cosmetic, in-game currency, and skins. Nevertheless, Blizzard is claiming that they do not belong in that “controversy”, that is according to the co-founder and CEO of the company Mike Morhaime.
In this recent interview with Game Informer at their annual BlizzCon event, Morhaime mentions that there is nothing wrong about the loot boxes.
“I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with crates that give you randomised items. I think that whatever the controversy is, I don’t think Overwatch belongs in that controversy.”, Mike Morhaime told Game Informer.
Morhaime added that they’ve avoided the pay-to-win direction in Overwatch. He also touched the “gambling” subject and mentioned that not being able to convert them to real money is a “critical element” which does not happen to be in Overwatch.
“Well, it’s definitely something we’ve avoided. I think another element, in terms of the gambling question, the question in terms of that is whether or not you’re actually… There’s an element of converting back into real-world value. I think that’s a critical element, and that element does not exist in Overwatch loot crates.”
It’s a fact that no one is gaining through these loot boxes. Morhaime is dismissing the “gambling” title over loot crates as players does not gain any money from the feature.
For what Blizzard has offered in Overwatch: free heroes, updates, and maps – with loot crates as an option for players to get rare or epic cosmetics – makes their game partially different from other titles that blocks the true ending and pay-to-win directions.