Rocket League to remove lootboxes and replace them with a rotating cosmetic shop

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When Epic Games bought out Rocket League earlier this year, fans were concerned as to the future of the huge eSports title. It was originally reported that Epic would stop selling Rocket League on Steam, but after major backlash, the company then walked back the decision, calling it a mistake in communication. That left the soccer-car game in a bit of limbo, as ownership shifted over to Epic. Now, after a few months of silence, Epic is about to change a fairly huge part of Rocket League: the lootboxes. While Rocket League has never directly come under fire for its lootboxes--called "crates"--the topic as a whole has been an issue, both within the gaming industry, and the legal one.

In an incredibly brief announcement, Epic Games and Psyonix have stated that as dedication to "creating the best possible experience for our players all over the world", they would be removing all paid randomized crates from Rocket League, and instead implementing a system more akin to Epic's Fortnite Save the World Llama store. Rocket Pass Premium, DLC, and eSports items won't be affected by this change, but after this change takes place, you will no longer receive the various different crates which require real-world money to open, in hopes of getting a randomized rare cosmetic item.

Epic Games did not further elaborate on what exactly these changes will be made, promising more information and details as to how this will be implemented in the future.

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Chary

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I absolutely love Rocket League, regardless of lootboxes and ownership. It's such a fun game, especially with friends. I'm almost a little sad to see the lootboxes go, but that's because I have that slight penchant for a gambling addiction buried deep down inside, and I enjoy putting $5 in a year, to see what kinda cute car skins I can get.
 

Armadillo

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So according to Psyonix on reddit, crates will be converted to something usable when they go and keys value will be honoured. I guess that means the £ value of the keys will be converted to whatever is replacing them.

Mixed feelings on the crates going. On the one hand, being able to just buy what you want is clearly better. On the other, purely selfishly, crate system & trading meant I've not had to spend any money on cosmetics I have and have a stockpile of 65 keys that cost me £0 and well I like not having to spend :).

Wonder if the annoucement will crash the market, want dueling dragons but not for 40 keys.
 

Armadillo

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Don't know how Fornite's store works, but I don't see how the current trading system survives the change.

Trading only works now because the good stuff has a shit chance of coming out of the crate, so it's easier to trade instead of throwing keys at the crates and hoping to get the item you actually want. If you can just buy it directly, then I don't see how the trading market survives.
 
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Hells Malice

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Ah good now instead of paying someone $5 for the item they looted from a crate I can instead pay Epic $40 on the 4th of May 2021 and if I miss it, try again June 16th 2062.

This is likely entirely monetary and has little to do with PR or lootboxes being "bad". Epic basically invented a new predatory market practice, or at least molded it to fit into gaming. Artificial scarcity. The idea of a rotating storefront is to sell cosmetics at a rate significantly above what you'd normally get away with, yet still get acceptable or above sales because the idea that this cool item you really really want may not show up again for a long time is very enticing and preys upon yet another weakness people tend to have with shopping, which is why sales are so prolific in most of our consumer lives.
Ironically this is a practice that really hits kids because they see that timer going down and ohmygosh it's so cool I want it mom please it'll never show up again please please!!

I'd take loot boxes any day of the week. A smart consumer could easily get whatever they want for cheap without ever touching a lootbox. Now there is absolutely no way to be smart. Really looking after the little guy, thanks Epic.
 
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FAST6191

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Epic basically invented a new predatory market practice, or at least molded it to fit into gaming. Artificial scarcity. The idea of a rotating storefront is to sell cosmetics at a rate significantly above what you'd normally get away with, yet still get acceptable or above sales because the idea that this cool item you really really want may not show up again for a long time is very enticing and preys upon yet another weakness people tend to have with shopping, which is why sales are so prolific in most of our consumer lives.

Did Epic invent it? We have had time/location limited bonuses (not quite the same but pokemon had its mystery gift thing, as well as event pokemon), pre order exclusives (often ones which radically change the game), and other functional equivalents for quite a few years now ( https://www.polygon.com/2017/8/23/16191034/monster-hunter-world-free-dlc-downloadable-content ). Does not excuse them leaning into the practice, or indeed using it to begin with, but the claim of them inventing it is a bit strong.
 

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Ah good now instead of paying someone $5 for the item they looted from a crate I can instead pay Epic $40 on the 4th of May 2021 and if I miss it, try again June 16th 2062.

This is likely entirely monetary and has little to do with PR or lootboxes being "bad". Epic basically invented a new predatory market practice, or at least molded it to fit into gaming. Artificial scarcity. The idea of a rotating storefront is to sell cosmetics at a rate significantly above what you'd normally get away with, yet still get acceptable or above sales because the idea that this cool item you really really want may not show up again for a long time is very enticing and preys upon yet another weakness people tend to have with shopping, which is why sales are so prolific in most of our consumer lives.
Ironically this is a practice that really hits kids because they see that timer going down and ohmygosh it's so cool I want it mom please it'll never show up again please please!!

I'd take loot boxes any day of the week. A smart consumer could easily get whatever they want for cheap without ever touching a lootbox. Now there is absolutely no way to be smart. Really looking after the little guy, thanks Epic.
Epic didn't invent this. I can't claim to know who did, but Warframe has been doing this since they introduce vaulting back in 2015.

While it is predatory in the manner that it uses time limited scarcity to compel the users into buying what they want, I'd argue it's a hell of a lot better than buying something and having no clue what you are getting, potentially spending hundreds of dollars and still not getting what you want. This does a few things that are significantly better than lootboxes.

  1. You have an upfront cost. Items now don't have an undetermined value.
    1. You will now upfront face the fact that the items that were scuttled away behind lootboxes now have a value. If that's $40, then you can now face that fact with an informed purchase or you can say "fuck off".
  2. You are no longer making a deal in bad faith. The company can not withhold information about the product you are buying. There is no ambiguity.
    1. This has the added side effect that companies can no longer use automated tactics to change the drop rate of the items secretly. No more fucking with you.
It's not like this ideal business model hasn't been in play before USING lootboxes either. Overwatch did it with lootboxes in their seasonal events.

All Rocket League has done is take the guesswork out of purchasing. If you think they weren't going to move to a rolling lootbox model like the industry trendsetter OverWatch (which stole all of it's ideas from mobile games), then I wish well with the optimism. I'm jealous of not being so jaded.

I applaud this move, even if it's only trading a greater evil for a lesser one.

Edit: I realize I shouldn't call lootboxes "gambleboxes". Gambling has rules and regulations forcing the company to disclose odds to the consumer. Lootboxes don't. Gambling Casinos literally lie less to their customers than lootbox vendors do.
 
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ChaosEternal

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Edit: I realize I shouldn't call lootboxes "gambleboxes". Gambling has rules and regulations forcing the company to disclose odds to the consumer. Lootboxes don't. Gambling Casinos literally lie less to their customers than lootbox vendors do.
Ironically, I'm pretty sure that mobile gamed DO have to disclose rates. At least they do if they want to be on the Apple app store. I can't recall if Google has any requirements for their Play Store. I guess AAA games could actually stand to take a lesson from mobile games for once.
 
D

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Imagine buying a game, not signing up for anything, playing it with friends online and then going on vacation and still being able to play it with bots, even though you're on a beach with no Wifi.
Golden days are dead now, apparently.

Also imagine going to the secret area of the map to get the best weapon and then OP'ing everybody for five seconds until they all turn on you and kill you, without buying some crap in a store :D
 
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