Eurogamer has an interview up today with David “Siigari” Pietz, described as a “DJ and audio engineer” and “small-time Twitch streamer.” What makes Pietz interesting is that he’s a self-professed gaming “whale” who, by his estimate, has spent about $20,000 on various free-to-play games over the past five years. But there are lines even he won’t cross.
Pietz figures he spent the most money — about $5,000 — on Atlantica Online, but he quit the game and his “moral fibre got involved” when Nexon introduced “gacha” packs to the game. Pietz calls their implementation a “disgusting twist of events,” to the point that he charged back his purchase and wound up getting his account banned.
Pietz also played League of Legends for several years, but when Riot Games introduced a form of loot boxes in that game, he checked out. According to Pietz, he didn’t mind “an upfront, ‘this is the price you pay for this product’, like this skin or this whatever” — i.e., non-randomized loot that you pay for — but adding loot chests made him feel like “the game, in my opinion, is starting to see its way out.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Pietz unequivocally equates loot boxes with gambling — which may not be exactly true, from a legal standpoint — and also lumps them in the same category as Magic: The Gathering packs, though he does say that those are at least better because they tell you the odds. That’s at least a basic step a lot of people think loot boxes should take, but it’ll probably take legislation to force developers’ hands on that front.