Loot boxes are always a controversial topic in the gaming world. People often view them as a form of gambling, and they certainly don’t provide a user-friendly way to unlock in-game content. A new report suggests that 31% of UK gamers struggle to track their spending on microtransactions.
Here’s information from the report, and what it means for gamers.
Loot boxes pose financial dangers
The report was conducted by Gambling Health Alliance (GHA) and published in the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), and they made some shocking findings:
- Almost one in six (15%) young gamers had taken money from their parents without their permission to buy loot boxes.
- One in ten (11%) had used their parents’ credit or debit card to fund their loot box purchases.
- One in ten (9%) had borrowed money they couldn’t repay to spend on loot boxes.
- Three young gamers’ loot box buying habits resulted in their families having to re-mortgage their homes to cover the costs.
These findings suggest that young gamers are struggling to control their spending. This is likely a result of addiction from the gambling-like nature of the microtransactions.
Certain games promote unhealthy spending
In the report, many players suggest that they are spending money to help them win. Games like FIFA, Madden, Hearthstone, and Magic: The Gathering sell cards. To get these cards, players can spend money on packs. Players who don’t have good cards are at a severe disadvantage.
Other games offer loot boxes for cosmetic items, which can be just as addicting. If you really want a new skin in Overwatch, for example, you have to get lucky and find it in a box or have enough in-game currency to buy it. Conveniently enough, the only way to get in-game currency is by getting more loot boxes.
Needless to say, this kind of business model relies on consumers spending money. There will likely be more regulations against microtransactions like this in the future.