|Synonyms:||loot crate, prize craze|
|See also:||Pay to win, Loot boxes in Gaming, Whales|
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A loot box is a consumable virtual item in a video game that gives the player some form of reward when it's consumed. These rewards can be fixed, such as x amount of premium currency, or they can be randomized. When the contents are randomized, loot boxes are often a form of monetization with players either buying the crates themselves or needing to buy keys with which to open the crates received during regular gameplay.
This system of rewards originated from the long history of loot being awarded to players in MMORPGs for completing tasks such as raids and the rise in monetization of mobile games. They first appeared in the early 2000s, but were popularized through games such as Overwatch. Initially, many loot boxes contained only cosmetic customizations, which most players were fine with seeing as no actual gameplay content or benefits were being locked behind paywalls, but loot boxes became an issue within the community when the contents shifted from being cosmetic to P2W upgrades for people willing to pay money.
- Are Overwatch's loot boxes worth your money? Posted 26 May 2016. Accessed 23 Sept 2019.
- The latest major 'Star Wars' game finally dropped its most controversial aspect — but it may be too late. Posted 16 March 2018. Accessed 23 Sept 2019.