Game developers aren't always just trying to get you to buy more loot boxes. Case in point: Grinding Gear Games, which recently heard from a Path of Exile player with self-described "serious impulse control issues." The player laid out their dilemma in a Reddit post, saying that, while Mystery Boxes were added to the game in 2015, they didn't become an issue in 2017, when the player had disposable income. As they put it:
- There were always leftover points after getting what I wanted. I bought a box or two - it was the Chaos and Order mystery box. I just wanted to spend my spare points to get something cool. But I got set pieces. So obviously I needed to buy more to complete the set. But I kept getting duplicates. So I needed more boxes. Oh hey, there's more supporter packs I can buy, and get more out of my money. And more duplicates.. More boxes. More duplicates. More boxes... When your brain works like mine, you can't stop. There is always the little voice of the back of your head that goes "Yeah no man, you should've quit like 30 boxes ago", but even when you're telling yourself to stop, you're still clicking buy, and you're still opening boxes.
The player wrote to GGG in the hopes that the developer would be able to take away their ability to purchase the boxes, and the answer they received was "yes." In fact, the player has arranged for loot boxes to be shut off until a specified date, and not to be re-enabled "even if I tell them to."
It's interesting that this option would even be available in a game with loot boxes, taking just nine days from the initial filing of the support ticket to the date when the loot boxes were disabled for this player. Sure, that doesn't remove them from the shop altogether, and there would be UI considerations to take into account if they were, and every game is different ... but if things go haywire in 2019 and a bunch of companies are required by law to remove loot boxes from their games, we can probably scratch off "it would be too much of a programming hassle" from the list of excuses that will inevitably be made.
(Kudos to Massively OP for the tip)
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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