Most new games nowadays come with an interesting yet controversial mechanic called “loot boxes” which are often compared to slot machines. So, what a non-casino-related game has anything to do with slots?

Well, the idea of incorporating loot boxes in games has a much deeper effect on gamers, and some of its features are very similar to a website to play slots. Does this mean that regular gaming can be considered gambling?

Well, in order to find out whether or not the reward system in games known as “loot boxes” has something to do with slots, we have to dig much deeper.

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How do Loot Boxes work in Games?

When a player plays a game, there is a rewarding process that will give them “loot boxes” or packs that can be opened to reveal special in-game items. These loot boxes are rewarded when players complete challenges, level up, or get some kind of achievement.

The loot boxes contain special in-game items that come with a different rarity. These in-game items can be anything from cosmetics, emotes, or special in-game abilities that will give them an advantage in games.

However, in order to open loot boxes players need to purchase a key. Most game developers, especially for free-to-play games disguise the key as a “Battle Pass” which is purchased at different intervals. In order to open specific “loot boxes” players need to purchase the Battle Pass and reveal the content of the loot box.

The value of the items that players get from the loot boxes varies wildly. Some of them are quite rare, but it all comes down to chances. Some games allow the items won in the loot boxes to be traded among players, which gives them actual value.

The Connection Between Loot Boxes and Slots

There are quite a few similarities between loot boxes and slot machines. The most evident resemblance of slot machines is that players pay money for an uncertain outcome when they purchase the key for opening loot boxes.

The trouble with loot boxes is that there is no guarantee that you’ll get a rare item. In fact, the chances for each item that is in the loot box are not submitted by the game developers, which leaves the door for speculation.

Additionally, many game developers use the loot box mechanic to keep players engaged in the game. They do this by adding near misses, where players keep pushing themselves in order to obtain a desired in-game item.

Last but not least, the value of the items won in loot boxes is totally randomized, at least what the game developers say. This means that there is no way of predicting what you’ll get in your next loot box, which is quite similar to slot machines.

The only difference is that slot machines at least have some measurable aspects like return-to-player (RTP) and they are checked by officials before they obtain a license.

Game developers also use many bells and whistles when people open loot boxes that give players the same effect that they get while playing slot games. Most loot box opening mechanic has enhanced visuals and attractive sounds that will get people more attached to the loot box system.

Final Words

There is no doubt that games nowadays have a mechanic that is very similar to slot machines. In fact, in some games, the rewarding process of loot boxes is not accurate or measured, and it is controlled only by the game developer, making it more gambling than playing actual slots.

There is a lot of talk about the gambling nature of loot boxes, and in the future, we might see governments limit game developers from using this feature, or at least make the process more transparent by adding the chances of what can players get from a loot box.