Psyonix has announced that later this year it will be removing randomised loot boxes from its massively popular car soccer sensation, Rocket League.
This surprise change in direction was confirmed today via an update from the developers over on the official Rocket League blog. It reads:
“Here at Psyonix, and Epic Games as a whole, we are dedicated to creating the best possible experience for our players all over the world. In pursuit of that goal, later this year we will remove all paid, randomized Crates from Rocket League, replacing them with a system that shows the exact items you’re buying in advance.”
Back in January Epic’s flagship money maker Fortnite made a similar move. The battle royale shooter had previously sold Llamas stashed with random loot but now players can see the contents of each one before they are purchased.
It seems likely that Psyonix will replicate this system – that, or create another fair way of distributing rewards via Crates. They’re still technically loot crates though the way they’ll work will be markedly different.
Currently, players can unlock chests but need to purchase keys to unlock them. Rocket League displays all of the items that potentially drop from certain Crates though this is random and the drop rate for individual items isn’t made known to the player.
While some will see this as a new, experimental way for Epic to monetise Rocket League, the more cynical among you will cite the ongoing debate surrounding loot boxes.
Their random nature have led many to label them as a soft form of gambling as players put in money hoping to get rare cosmetic items for their in-game characters.
What’s particularly worrying about this issue is that games like Fortnite and Rocket League are aimed at younger audiences. This has led to certain outspoken figures in the games industry to deem the practice of selling loot boxes as not only irresponsible but predatory.
Psyonix note that, despite these upcoming changes, the game’s Rocket Pass, DLC Cars, and esports items won’t be affected.
Source: Rocket League blog