At some point shortly after FIFA 20’s Sept. 24 launch date, your resolve will break down, and you’ll spend your hard-earned money on a card pack.
Unfortunately, a new survey proves that you’ll probably regret that loot box purchase almost immediately. The study, sponsored by Canadian casino review site Casino.ca , reveals that a staggering 50% of gamers regret buying loot boxes.
The survey compiles data based on a sample of 1,003 US-based gamers probed for their sentiment on loot boxes, along with their perception of this controversial gaming staple that has become a fixture in mainstream titles like FIFA 20 and NBA 2K20.
Other interesting statistics appear in the study. Among them, 70.5% of gamers have purchased a loot box at some point. It’s a jaw-dropping number that, despite well-publicized player backlash and high profile inquiries from fearful authorities, highlights the pull of gambling-like monetization.
The average buyer has spent $217 on loot boxes and has purchased 12 in the last year.
Placed side by side with the pervasive 50% regret statistic, there are some glaring similarities with traditional gambling – the addictive nature of the activity, the desire to press on regardless of consequences, and the inevitable feeling of disappointment when things don’t pan out as intended. It does a lot to justify concerns that loot boxes targeted at minors are akin to the real thing.
The study supports that general sentiment with 61.5% of respondents relating loot boxes to gambling, 51.5% as a predatory practice on the part of developers, and 45.4% as addictive.
Interestingly, only 17.5% feel developers should remove them from games, although 40% believe they should be regulated in some capacity.
EA’s FIFA franchise and its lucrative Ultimate Team mode appear to tap into that addictive effect, whether intentionally or not.
Card packs (FIFA’s take on loot boxes) featuring a random assortment of players are available for purchase using FUT Coins, a currency obtained in small amounts through playing the game.
The thrill of opening a pack to hopefully land one of soccer’s most prominent names is similar to rolling the dice in roulette or pulling the lever on a slot machine. It often leads to disappointment, but the potential, however small, to win big keeps players buying packs.
When FUT Coins run dry, players can purchase FIFA Points using real-world currency and use them towards card packs. It’s a vicious cycle and one insidiously glorified in countless loot box YouTube videos.
FIFA isn’t alone. The controversy surrounding 2K Games’ latest release, NBA 2K20, follows a similar refrain, albeit in a far more blatant fashion with an entire mode resembling a glitzy casino. Basketball stars are obtained through random loot box-like packs bought using earned currency and when that runs out, real-world money.
It’s damning stuff for loot boxes and shows that despite growing outrage at the antics of heavy hitters like 2K and EA, players continue to fall into the loot box trap, even when it leaves a sour taste.