- Epic Games-owned Psyonix says no to crate boxes
- Psyonix is the first company to voluntarily suspend the use of boxes
- Valve, the company that has inspired this in-game mechanic, still hold onto them
Psyonix has become the latest developer to pull out the use of “loot boxes” out of its flagship title, Rocket League.
Psyonix Suspends Use of Crate Boxes
Psyonix, the developing company behind trending esports title Rocket League, has announced that it is removing “loot boxes” from its game. Known as “crates,” in the game, Psyonix is joining Epic Games, Fortnite’s creators and present company owners, in a move to limit the potential for gambling harm among gamers.
The decision is in stark contrast with EA’s prolonged fight with Belgium and Dutch authorities over keeping loot boxes in FIFA 19 in the two countries. Crates first appeared in Rocket League in 2016, inspired by Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive similar mechanics.
As fate would have it, Valve were among the first to suffer the consequences of allegedly facilitating underage skin trading worth hundreds of thousands of dollars back in 2016. As a point of clarification, “skins” are cosmetic improvements that mostly don’t enhance a player’s performance in any way.
Back to Rocket League, players were allowed to use in-game currency to open crates with special keys available in-game. One of the ways to find keys was through purchase with real-life currency, which has worried some that it resembled gambling.
In their terse statement, Psyonix said:
“Here at Psyonix, and Epic Games as a whole, we are dedicated to creating the best possible experience for our players all over the world.”
A Community Divided
Where some people were happy with Psyonix’s decision, others had a rather more miffed tone of voice. A Twitter user Sufyaan had this to share:
He was responding to another user, Buckley who said that they were happy with the crates, as it would allowed them to obtain items cheaply. Sufyaan argued that he had not had the same general experience.
The discussion then continued with the exchange of varying opinions. Epic Games revealed plans to acquire Psyonix on May 1, 2019. That was two months after the company had decided to reconsider its own loot boxes system.
In the case of Psyonix, Epic Games has acted pre-emptively, avoiding future complications in a timely fashion.
Right and Wrong
There have been debates going about whether such mechanics should be allowed in games accessible to an underage audience. Even though organizations such as the UK Gambling Commission has ruled against loot boxes being a form of gambling, there have been others to express this concern.