The talk of the rising "loot box" trend with microtransactions and almost mandatory DLC has become very heated recently with some companies even declaring war on the publishers that abuse these practices. While some games get the use of loot boxes right, such as Overwatch where anything you can purchase you can earn simply by playing, other titles out on the market seem to take a more aggressive approach. Because of this, it shouldn't be any surprise that this trend has caused the gaming industry to triple in its value in recent years.
Digital River, a monetisation services company, gave gamers an inside look at how this trend has escalated over the years and what it means for both the consumer (gamers) and the producers (publishers). In their recently released report titled 'Defend Your Kingdom: What Game Publishers Need To Know About Monetization & Fraud', information about how valuable this practice is came to light. It's important to note that these are still businesses at the end of the day, and businesses need to make money; that's the aim. However, with the rising popularity of gaming in the mass market - are they taking advantage of the "instant gratification" trend among gamers?
"Consumers are less willing to pay $60 for a boxed game and instead choose titles with a steady stream of new content," the report said. "Publishers seek to meet these expectations and have adopted a 'games as a service' model, releasing fewer titles over time while keeping players engaged longer with regular updates and add-ons."
"Virtual items are becoming more valuable to players and fraudsters. A miniskirt for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds recently fetched over $400 on the Steam Marketplace (where users sell in-game items for Steam store credit)."
In recent years, it seems that the very next announcement following the "Big Reveal" of a title is the revelation of additional microtransaction system. Where many feel like it's not an issue, just don't buy - others feel that the trend continues to escelate and is being marketed as "necessary" in order to successfully complete certain titles. What do you think? Is this an issue in the gaming industry, or is it something that we should ignore?