'PUBG' Players Express Gambling Concerns Over New Loot Crate System

Just yesterday, we reported the latest update update to hit the PC version of the popular battle [...]

Just yesterday, we reported the latest update update to hit the PC version of the popular battle royale game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG). One of the notable additions to the title was the implementation on a new crate system, which does bear suspicious similarities to the controversial loot box issue going on right now that many authorities labeling it as gambling.

Though the proposed new system doesn't impact the game itself, and the team has been very upfront with the use of microtransactions for purely cosmetic reasons, that doesn't stop players from voicing their concern that this could be indicative of things to come. For the new crate system:

"One crate will be free to open and the other one will require a key. Every test server user will be granted 100 000 BP and 6 Early Bird keys (the new unified PUBG crate key that can open Desperado and Gamescom crates), so that they can test the new crates and the items within. Each time you spend BP to get a crate, you will get one of the 4 available crates. There will be a much higher chance of getting one of the two new ones. You can see the exact percentage values below. The BP value, the new items and the keys won't be transferred to live accounts. They are granted purely for the purpose of testing, to make sure that everything stays stable once the test build is moved to the live servers. As always, all our crate items are purely cosmetic in nature and provide no gameplay advantage."

In a thread on Resetera, many players took to the popular forum to reflect on the update and what that means for the future. The argument of gambling has also been brought up, such as user Aelxander DeLarge's contribution:

"It absolutely is gambling. Some of those items will sell for thousands of dollars. Sure the key costs real money and you only have a 0.01% chance of getting that item... But it's only $2 right? This is what gambling addicts use to justify their behavior. I've seen it myself and it becomes even less defensible when you look at the studies that show pathological gambling/addictive behaviors may be fueled by genetics.

Edit: Sick of the whataboutisms, Loot boxes are inherently predatory. TCGs are inherently predatory and I hope the law catches up to current business practices before this stuff harms this industry even more. If these games can't survive without picking between one scummy practice (season passes that split online communities) and another (loot boxes), fuck 'em."

Others stated that calling it gambling is too much of a stretch and that it is what it is presently, not a sign of "doom" to come. With the frequent drop rates in-game, there really wouldn't be a reason to purchase a key with IRL unless the implementation were to augment said drop rate. They exist, but they don't seem to really have an effect on the game itself other than the fact that they are there.

It's definitely a hot topic, and both sides of the spectrum has unique input to offer. That being said, many companies, like EA and their purposeful hampering of online play to force players to pay, are including harmful business practices so it is understanding to see the concern from the players.