There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding loot boxes over the past six months and some gamers have been appalled by the way in which they are implemented. EA took the brunt of the fury with Star Wars Battlefront 2, and rightly so.
Today’s Activision Blizzard financial results tell a different story, and in general, it appears gamers are more than willing to spend money on loot boxes and other microtransactions.
Today’s financials revealed that Activision Blizzard net revenues were a record $7.02 billion and net revenues from digital channels were a record $5.48 billion.
If these numbers tell us anything it’s that loot boxes and microtransaction are here to stay. Other publishers will be watching these numbers very closely and you can bet we’ll see more microtransaction models, cosmetic and non-cosmetic, appear throughout 2018.
The Star Wars Battlefront 2 controversy which hit EA for a time doesn’t have appeared to have had much of an impact on other gaming communities tied to Activision or Blizzard.
The argument is that loot boxes and microtransactions are gambling and they are often presented in such a way as to encourage more spending which can be addictive. There is no doubt that developers and publishers use tried and tested psychological techniques to encourage gamers to spend more on games they have already paid full price for.
If there is to be any change it’s going to have to come through governmental regulation and countries such as Germany and Sweden are looking at this seriously. For the foreseeable future, microtransactions are going to be an integral part of gaming when it comes to the larger publishers and gamers are going to have to live with that. If gamers want the culture to change then they are going to have to stop throwing money at games.