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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Is CS Responsible for the Decline in In-Game Loot Boxes?

Online gaming is a massive industry and there is a lot of money to be made for gaming companies that produce popular games. Many of the leading online video games include a loot box system and this has come under scrutiny.

Recently, we have seen a decline in the number of in-game loot boxes but is this the responsibility of Counter Strike or are there other factors in play?

What is a Loot Box?

Loot boxes have long been a controversial feature of online video games. Unlike when playing games at a casino online, where you use real money to gamble, loot boxes are usually obtained with virtual currency specific to the game.

However, virtual currency can often be purchased for real money, meaning it is easy to begin opening boxes or packs. If we take the popular FIFA football game as an example, packs can be won by playing matches, but they can also be purchased using coins. The coins are obtained by playing matches but can also be purchased. The packs contain players, kits, stadiums, contracts, and other items that improve the gaming experience. 

The Issue with Loot Boxes

The major issue with loot boxes in video games comes from a gambling perspective. Taking Counter Strike: Global Offensive as an example, there are two ways to obtain loot boxes in the game. The first is by playing the game and each week you play the game; you will be awarded two crates to open.

The crates contain various weapon skins, including knives, pistols, and rifles. The second way to obtain crates when playing CS:GO is by purchasing them from the game market. You cannot see what is in the crate before opening and the items within the CS:GO world all have different values.

Some people have spent a fortune opening crates and received a disappointing return. Many people believe opening loot boxes to be a form of gambling and it should be banned from video games in the future.

The Value of Skins in CS:GO

Recently, Valve announced the release of Counter Strike 2, which is going to be a revamp of the original game boasting a series of improvements. It is expected to come as a free update in the summer of 2023 and that means all progress will be carried over to the updated version of the game.

The news of the carry-over has sent the CS skins market into a frenzy and thanks to the virtual economy created by the loot box system in CS, prices of skins have been rocketing. For example, a knife that was valued at €170 when revealed in a loot box increased to close to a €1000 in value. Issues begin to rise with the thought of what would happen if CS 2 shut down. All the items would suddenly become worthless, and that prospect is leading to a decline in in-game loot boxes.

Thanks to the virtual market in games such as CS, regulators are looking extremely closely at loot boxes and video game developers are bracing themselves for a possible ban in the future.

David Wojnicki
David Wojnicki
"He who licks knives will soon cut his tongue."
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