The controversy surrounding loot crates, and their increasing popularity in the games industry, has reached a fever pitch in 2017, with even government agencies getting involved in the debate regarding the nature of such a transaction.
Opinions on whether their inclusion in a game can be considered a form of gambling vary between different gaming organizations, but a greater need for transparency and regulation is generally agreed upon. In that vein, and following in the footsteps of a similar ruling by the Chinese government, Apple has updated its policies for games hosted on the App Store, and now requires loot crates to clearly indicate to users the probability for obtaining each type of loot in the game.
The cloud of contention surrounding this new form of monetization by game publishers has largely focused on bigger, AAA titles like Assassin Creed: Origins and Star Wars Battlefront 2 but mobile games are increasingly starting to adopt this model of recurrent purchases as well. An example of a genre that will soon be affected by the change in Apple's rules is card collectible games (CCGs), impacting titles like Elder Scrolls: Legends and Hearthstone, which often rely on the sales of packs awarding a collection of random cards as their main source of income.
Loot crates, and microtransactions in general, have tremendously inflated the valuation of the gaming industry in recent years. As such, it's unlikely that they're going away anytime soon, but stronger regulation like that implemented by Apple may at least help customers make more informed decisions when choosing to purchase one.
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