Different aspects of gaming come and go with some rising to an enormous height to disappear as quickly as they came, and it seems one of the biggest changes that came to gaming a little less than a decade ago may soon be on its way out – perhaps not through lack of popularity, but instead through a series of changes and new launches that have removed some of the interested. The era in question of gaming for loot boxes and skin gambling has been around since gaming really first emerged, but didn’t take off in a huge way until an update to the popular esports title of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive back in 2012, but what are the reasons for the sudden downfall?
An effort to slow gambling in gaming – Perhaps the biggest changes have come from efforts to reduce the exposure of a huge number of players as links between loot boxes and gambling have been made for a longer period of time now. Although changes have been made over the years to make the trading and sale of cosmetic items much harder, links between case openings and the likes of free play slots for example have continued to be made. Whilst the change has mostly come from internal adjustments, there may be a more blanket change as some regulators may look to ban loot boxes outright in the future.
New releases taking the popularity – Another big change has been the release of a huge competitor in Riot Games own Valorant, for the longest time CS had been the biggest FPS on the market and with all the players making the shift it had allowed for a much bigger market, but with Valorant grabbing much of the popularity it has reduced the exposure of some and taken those who may have otherwise turned to the loot boxes away for less gambling related cosmetic purchases.
Content creators move away too – Whilst Valorant has been in some ways responsible for the change, with content creators and streamers moving away from the game it also brings much less exposure as the content is broadcast as often, whilst there are certainly still those who rely on this content as their main broadcast or video time, it certainly isn’t as big as it once was particularly a number of years ago when loot boxes were at their most popular.
Many newer releases have instead started to focus on simply offering cosmetic items as a purchase on rotation rather than the gamble approach, and it may well now start spelling the end of an era in gaming which had been so heavily focussed around the purchasing and opening of loot boxes and the many ties to different gambling mechanics that had been made.