Blizzard's CEO talks Overwatch Loot boxes
Image via Wildcard24 - DeviantArt
Lately, there has been a lot of talk about loot boxes and microtransactions. Some countries have as far as stating that loot boxes and crates in-game are considered gambling and companies need to reveal the odds of items in each box. This is prevalent in China, and recently the ESRB (Entertainment and Software Rating Board) declared that loot boxes aren’t gambling.
While this may act as the end-all for every discussion, some feel that they still constitute some form of gambling in that you’re buying these boxes and opening items of various rarities. This is the case for CS:GO, at least, where some cosmetic items can be sold for a few thousand dollars. Another game, Overwatch, is a small exception, at least according to Blizzard’s CEO Mike Morhaime, who spoke to GameInformer at Blizzcon.
“I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with crates that give you randomized items. I think that whatever the controversy is, I don’t think Overwatch belongs in that controversy.”
When asked whether there’s a line when it comes to loot boxes, Morhaime touched on the above-mentioned factor of converting the loot to real money.
“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.”
While Overwatch has remained in the clear regarding “gambling,” other companies are still entwined in the ongoing discussions over the addition of loot boxes which serve other purposes other than cosmetics.