OpenCritic to Warn Consumers of Video Games with Predatory ‘Loot Box’ Purchases


OpenCritic, the review aggregator that made waves with its unweighted and inclusive approach, is looking into informing consumers if a game contains microtransaction loot boxes.

OpenCritic continues to push forward with the same communicative strategy that has already earned them no small amount of respect among consumers looking for a fair evaluation of the avalanche of video game releases. Currently, the conversation centers around the abusive employment of in-game microtransactions, specifically the thinly veiled gambling-lite that is the “loot box” model.

Destiny 2, Forza Motorsport 7, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, and Star Wars Battlefront 2 are just the biggest names slipping in these predatory tactics in hopes of padding their bottom line. Assassins Creed: Origins will feature loot boxes, but their purchase will not be tied to real money — which should save them the wrath of the gaming community at large, so long as they have the self-control to keep intrusive microtransactions and real-world equivalent currencies out of the works.

With consumer discontent with the business model at an all-time high, many have begun to make serious purchasing decisions based on whether they can enjoy a game — for which they have already paid — without having to slap away the intrusive fingers of a greedy publisher or slog through a game rebalanced to make spending additional money more appealing.

To that end, OpenCritic is accepting ideas for how to rate a game’s business model in a “fair and scalable way,” especially with regard to its intrusiveness on the experience.

It is good to see more outlets paying attention to the exploitive business practices becoming so common in the world’s fastest-growing pastime.

Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.


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