When is a loot box not a loot box? When it’s not random, it would appear.
That’s the workaround Valve has implemented for Dota 2 players in The Netherlands, after drawing the attention of the Dutch Gaming Authority. As reported by Eurogamer, via Reddit, Dutch Dota 2 players can now see the items that they’ll receive in a loot box before they buy. They can only “preview” one box at a time, and the contents are locked to your account, so leaving the purchase page or restarting the game won’t give you a different prize.
It’s an interesting way to dodge the loot box legislation, though I’m not sure how I feel about it. Yes, you get to see what your next box will get you, but this could be seen as making you gamble on the next box, whose contents are unknown. In other words, if you want the SuperLoot(tm), you might see that the current box won’t provide it … but let me buy that crap and maybe the next box will? Oh, shoot, the preview says it won’t. OK, let me get that one out of the way and maybe the next box — nope. OK, let me buy that one, and …
In other words, it’s a tricky way around the mandate that says that random loot boxes are bad, but might not do anything to actually curb the gambling impulse that powers loot box transactions. What do you guys think?