Gaming News

Rocket League to Drop Predatory Loot Boxes

Rocket League

Psyonix has announced that Rocket League will be completely dropping its loot box system. Expected to happen “later this year,” this move follows Epic Games’ purchase of both Psyonix and the Rocket League license. Psyonix’s statement details what players can expect from the replacement system.

…we will remove all paid, randomized Crates from Rocket League, replacing them with a system that shows the exact items you’re buying in advance. This is similar to changes implemented earlier this year by the Fortnite Save the World team.

Psyonix Team, Rocket League Website

The current loot box system in Rocket League is, by design, predatory. It involves receiving boxes by playing but having to pay for the keys to unlock them. Players can see them, but not access them. That is unless you pull out your credit card. To Psyonix’s credit, Rocket League did get a later update with the option to hide all loot box notifications.

Many games, Rocket League included, are phasing battle passes in place of loot boxes. Dating back to Dota 2, a battle pass is a reward tier list system where players get better items the more they play. Gaining experience climbs the tiers and unlocks various rewards, usually cosmetics. Whilst arguably a better system, there are still issues players should be aware of.

United Kingdom gambling officials confirmed that, at this current time, they do not view loot boxes as gambling. This is based on an archaic definition of gambling stating the rewards for service must be monetized. Since players can’t officially re-sell goods from loot boxes in most games, loot boxes cannot be categorized as gambling.

Other countries have made efforts to prevent loot boxes from hurting citizens. China requires consumer disclosure on exact loot box odds before any purchase. Loot boxes are outlawed in both the Netherlands and Belgium. Several other European countries are investigating if action should be taken against loot boxes.