Free Loot in Games: Benefit or Distraction for Players?

Free Loot in Games: Benefit or Distraction for Players?

When referring to video games, loot is the game equipment acquired by a player through an exchange of in-game currency or real currency. Loot traditionally comes in boxes conveniently referred to as loot boxes. Loot boxes are grab bags that players have to pay for using real money or game currency, without knowing what is inside the bag. Loot boxes may contain a range of equipment including modifications, weapons or even currency.

Proceeds from the purchase of loot boxes have largely been used by developers to set off the initial costs of creating the game and to further develop the software and improve features. With these costs out of the way, game developers can offer free gameplay and develop better games without worrying that the turnover from the purchase price of it might not sufficiently cover the costs incurred.

Loot boxes, however, have not been popular among gamers particularly because the players do not get to choose what they buy. Claims have been made that such transactions amount to blind gambling especially since it is the developers that reap from such transactions at the expense of the players.

More poignant is the fact that loot boxes have now been firmly incorporated into game structures, such that, it would be difficult for a player to go beyond a certain point in the game without spending some cash. This practice has become more prevalent that it has made international news, quite notably when gaming company Electronic Arts released Star Wars Battlefront II, after an uproar from disgruntled gamers who felt cheated into gambling so as to make the most of the game.

Despite the “loot box oppression” of gamers, loot in games has proven very useful, especially when it is free. Free loot in games has been manifested in many ways; for instance, in multi-player video games, a player may obtain game material by killing an enemy or searching hidden places. Other examples include Microgaming slots games with free spins, free bonus rewards for daily play, upgrades or rewards for completing various stages of the game and bonus boxes for sharing the games on media platforms.

New Territories

Loot has been largely predominant in video games. However, recent times have seen its import to other platforms such as online casinos, mobile phone games and other online games. Whether celebrating a certain milestone or completing a mission, loots have become part and parcel of any worthwhile game. Every other time during gameplay, a player may be rewarded with material that can be utilized to upgrade their characters or to increase their game-time. This is the new manifestation of free loots.

Benefit or Distraction?

Loot, or its perversion “lewt”, is useful in a number of ways to the gamers. Free spins in online casino games help to encourage the player to keep playing and also increase their chances of winning through the extended gameplay. It also motivates the gamer and improves personal perception of that game. An online slot machine that offers free spins will attract a devout following compared to one that does not.

To the player, loot is essential to his enjoyment of the game. It eliminates the player’s apprehension of blind gambling. Once a player is rewarded with free loot, or comes across it by any other means, it does not matter that it might not be useful at that particular moment since it is free. Otherwise, if it is valuable, then the gamer will happily use in the game without any hard feelings.

Purchased loot would hinder a player’s progress in the game for many reasons.

  • Firstly, the player might not have enough finances to facilitate the transaction;
  • Secondly, the player might not acquire the necessary upgrades or equipment required to move on to the next stage;
  • Finally, the player may not want to gamble blindly especially when real money is involved.

Free loots in games, therefore, afford a much needed relief to players from the gamble of blind purchases conveniently targeting players when they are fully immersed in the game and have no choice but to buy the loot boxes.

On the other hand, free loots in-game may be a distraction to players. For instance, online casinos might offer free spins every time players hit a certain number of scatter symbols; a player might be distracted from his main goal of hitting the jackpot or a winning payline by attempting to get the extra spins in order to get more chances of playing. Loots might then be the typical red herring of gaming.

In another example, games that require the player to search for loot in hidden locations distract the player from going forth on the intended mission in an attempt to search for that free weapon upgrade or an extra life. Similarly, other games that offer rewards for daily log-ins incite the player to merely log in, claim the reward, and then immediately log out again.

All in all, free loots are profoundly beneficial to players. Whilst they might distract for a minute or a day, they extensively encourage the gamer to keep playing for even more rewards. Free loots come as the Messiah of gaming, to save the players from the oppression of blind gamble purchases that have been imposed upon them by game developers. With or without funds, a player is able to continue enjoying his games without having to forego any necessary game items. As it is often said, all good things in life are free.

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