Three quarters of European gamers don’t even understand what the heck lootboxes are

    
22

A new report on GIbiz suggests that most gamers are pretty darn clueless about lootboxes, which probably won’t surprise anyone reading here. Researchers for the publication surveyed gamers in Western Europe and found that barely more than a quarter of gamers even know what they are. More than half (we assume) of those who seem to have no opinion on whether lootboxes are a plus for the gaming experience (a quarter think they suck). But the reaction differs depending on the way the question is phrased.

“We also asked gamers if they thought loot boxes made them think more positively about game companies, 54% had no opinion, 10% agreed with the statement, whereas 37% disagreed. In fact 20% ‘strongly disagreed’ that loot boxes made them feel positively about the companies that used them, which suggests that loot boxes create some negative feeling among some consumers.”

That said, almost half of those familiar with lockboxes suggested that lootboxes make them less likely to buy games with them, so there’s that.

In other lockbox news, Valve has re-enabled CSGO 2 and Dota 2 trading for Dutch and Belgian players who’d been blocked from the system earlier this summer following the Dutch Gaming Authority’s threat to prosecute companies like Valve for vending and trading lockboxes it considered in clear violation of Dutch law. Valve turned off all trading for Dutch players initially, but now it’s managed to simply make it impossible for Dutch players to open the boxes, so at least they can continue trading other items.

Source: GIbiz, Polygon
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
PurpleCopper
Reader
PurpleCopper

People keep comparing lootboxes to booster card packs, which to be honest is very similar.

Except for one major legal distinction, booster card packs are a PHYSICAL object that you buy and OWN. When you pay cold hard cash for lootboxes, you don’t OWN those items, because it’s just digital pixels that are actually owned buy the video game publishers who leases the game to you as a service in exchange for money.

So yea, kinda skeevy and likely illegal.

Reader
Arktouros

Actually the game industry strongly backs the argument that the items involved have zero value. If the virtual items had value that opens up a lot of worms all around that Extra Credits did a fantastic video on.

As for booster card packs and baseball card packs, Youtuber Law did a great video on it explaining the history of them. I don’t really agree with his arguments towards the end but it’s really good insight to the legal history of card packs :)

Reader
Sally Bowls

This was an interesting article and I am glad it was published. But I am confused at some of the comments: I can’t see any reason to see if it has the slightest relevance. If someone were to have better insight into what customers want and/or will pay for, I think the gaming companies who are measuring their revenue “hourly” have better insight into customers and their motivations than a GIBiz survey.

Reader
Roger Melly

Did they just ask gamer’s in general or specifically people who play mmo’s and similar online games ?

If they asked gamers in general its hardly surprising 3/4’s of them didn’t know what they are because its not something you encounter in most single player/co op games .

Without knowing which demographic was targeted and how large the group surveyed was the results of such a study are dubious to say the least .

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

Ah.. I do so love these kind of blanket statement statistics. I mean how big was the test group? what age group(s), were they console gamers or PC gamers etc.etc.. For all we know they could have asked a dozen wii gamers? lol

Reader
John Kiser

That’s always the issue with this kind of thing in general. I don’t much care about loot boxes on way or another so long as there is a mechanism to earn a lootbox now and then and they are purely cosmetic. I think Overwatch’s lootboxes are fine. I think people conflate lootboxes to mean something like P2W cash shop lootboxes that offer some in game advantage when most really aren’t even about that anymore (some are and should be irritated with them for it but ya).

They can’t say 3/4ths of european gamers unless they got all gamers in europe. I hate blanket statistics because it is literally just 3/4ths of the poeple involved.

Reader
Arktouros

Wow. Bravo Valve, bravo.

So first they make Dutch players have to gamble to keep getting their loot items and then presumably because they gave Valve a big ol’ middle finger to that option (because who wants boxes full of garbage you can’t even trade away) now Valve decides it’s more profitable to just let them directly buy what other people gamble for.

The ingenuity of this move is amazing.

Speaking of Belgium and Netherlands, how many other countries have signed on with their similar iniatives since they did? I seem to remember something about dominoes falling? Who’s next in supporting such great legislation?

Reader
Sally Bowls

So first they make Dutch players have to gamble to keep getting their loot items

I see this as much more the government than Valve. The government ruled that lootboxes were completely legal provided the game company took away from the customers the option of avoiding RNG by trading the contents. Which Valve accomplished by taking away being able to trade from just the customers who live there.

and then presumably because they gave Valve a big ol’ middle finger to that option (because who wants boxes full of garbage you can’t even trade away) now Valve decides it’s more profitable to just let them directly buy what other people gamble for.

Valve sells more than these two games and my interpretation that the current system provides more options than last week, although the people in those two countries are still disadvantaged relative to the rest of the world.

Reader
Arktouros

I dunno about that one. I mean Valve designed the game system, it was the Dutch government who in return reaction to that game design by ruling because items could be traded they had value, and the RNG nature in which the items were gained constituted gambling because the goods then had value. By removing either the trading component (value) or the gambling component (RNG) it becomes legal again. First they tried removing the value component, but likely sales were slumping enough that their previous data showed that trading would net them more revenue than the RNG component.

Personally I expecting them to skirt the line even further and get the best of both worlds. Allow people to purchase RNG boxes, but anything in Dutch/Belgium would be bind on acquire and unable to trade. However the reality is with such minor countries it likely wasn’t even worth the time to code in a new lockbox/item set specifically for them haha.

Dantos
Reader
Dantos

How is ‘gamer’ being defined? I think it’s become a useless term at this point. Someone who mainly plays mmos vs someone who sticks with nintendo games vs someone who plays a wide swath of things are going to have very different levels of awareness, especially if they do or do not visit any game related media outside of playing.

Reader
Sally Bowls

I find the definition of gamer depends on the location.

In the real world, a gamer is someone who plays games.

In some forums/social media, a gamer – sometimes written as true gamer or real gamer – is “an Occidental, first-world person who plays a game I like on a PC” – a half billion people who play games I don’t like on platforms I don’t like are not counted.

Serrenity
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

I’ve defined gamer as ‘gaming buff’ … like a movie buff. Everyone watches movies, but there’s a group of people, Movie Buffs, who are really into movies. Gaming Buff just doesn’t sound quite right :D

Reader
rafael12104

One other thing to note is that “loot boxes” come in different guises or disguises. In FIFA they are “card packs”. Same mechanics, but the goods are delivered as cards in a pack which is based on rng, of course.

So… it’s not surprising that some players don’t even know they participate in loot box bingo.

deekay_000
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_000

that’s kind of the issue, it lacks clear labeling.

perhaps that should be one of the regulations that could be put in place – that the lootbox be titled or labeled clearly as a lootbox.

semugh
Reader
semugh

haha me neither…

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

One interesting point in the survey results is that, among the players that know what lootboxes are and have an opinion about them, the opinion is more often than not negative. Beyond the one mentioned in the article’s quote:

18% think lootboxes improve a game’s experience, 23% think it makes the experience worse.
15% think lootboxes are a positive influence on the games industry, 25% think it’s a negative influence.
9% say that a game having lootboxes makes it more likely they will purchase the game, while 45% say it will make it less likely (and 29% think so strongly).
20% say that lootboxes make games more personalized, 23% think the opposite is true.
And, lastly, 24% think loot boxes help in achieving success in a game (AKA think they are pay-to-win), while only 20% think the opposite.

Reader
Sally Bowls

But numbers can dance to the one calling the toon.

“loot boxes improve a gaming experience” less than a quarter disagreed, 77% did not

“Loot boxes make a game feel more personalised” – a fifth disagreed, 80% did not

“loot boxes made them think more positively about game companies” only 37% disagreed 63% did not.

“loot boxes are a positive influence on the games industry” a quarter disagreed, three of four did not

“Knowing that a game contains loot boxes makes me more likely to purchase it.” a minority disagreed,

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

In this specific kind of survey, “not disagree” does not equal with “agree”. They are explicitly different answers, with the neutral option (which is literally given as “neither agree nor disagree”) serving as the “I have no opinion/I don’t care” option.

So, the results clearly show that the perception of lootboxes is negative. The answer to the question about purchasing the game when it contains lootboxes, in particular, suggests that adding lootboxes to a game results in a measurable, and potentially large, decrease in units sold.

Reader
Sally Bowls

“clearly show that the perception of lootboxes is negative. ” is probably true; I am not sure this data shows there is a significantly negative perception.

“suggests that adding lootboxes to a game results in a measurable, and potentially large, decrease in units sold.” IMO, if there is one thing that Game companies measure it is the revenue and what causes increases and decreases. IMO, I am sure if lockboxes hurt game company revenue, they would be immediately gone. The trends seem to be that resistance is rising so perhaps someday they will decline and/or cease. To paraphrase Aragorn: ” A day may come when we forsake our lockboxes. But it is not this day.”

Reader
Zora

Gosh it’s way more than those most certainly, they don’t know because they don’t care.

Most people buy games just to have a fun time, possibly with friends… maybe online if it’s a thing. The inner working of mechanics is something that won’t concern the average gamer, their understanding stops at whether or not they’re willing to dish out the extra cash when they are faced with the choice to.

My housemate never says no to playing some games together but she is going to stop me every time I try to explain the arcane… she couldn’t care less and that’s likely to be the case for most to be honest :P