Survey Finds Less Than One in Ten Upcoming Games Will Implement Loot Boxes

With the continuing, but justifiable, frustration with certain video games and series nowadays (AAA most notably) veering more into additional monetisation practices and systems beyond the initial $30/$40/$60 asking price, it’s always nice to see how — if at all — the industry has reacted to the public’s overwhelmingly negative response to such things as microtransactions, in-game currency and more specifically, loot boxes. Not to mention ongoing debate, pressure and even actual legislation against certain practices passed in certain countries all around the world.

Well in a recently-released survey conducted by the GDC for their annual State of the Game Industry report this year, based on a sample of 4,000 developers, for all in-development and upcoming projects, less than one in ten projects would implement some form of loot box system, described — by the survey — as “paid item crates”. However, this doesn’t factor in other forms of monetisation with 22% of those surveyed saying that a form of in-game currency would be included with 24% stating that in-game items would be featured either on top of other forms of monetisation, or stand-alone. Exactly half of the developers surveyed stated that, in terms of a business model, they would pursue a “pay to download” path, which is another way of saying players digitally download a game and own it as a result, full-stop. However, this survey does not mean that the chosen business practices for said game are singular with multiple options/responses offered.

As a result, though the survey doesn’t give a clear-cut indicator on the status of loot boxes in video games going forward — the question on monetisation wasn’t in a one option only format, for starters — it is an interesting statistic nonetheless and for the moment, appears to paint the industry in a continuing uncertainty on pursuing this particular trend in video games further and/or more aggressively. Which for the consumer, can only mean a good thing and proof that enough criticism and outcry can, at least in part, work.