Loot boxes are probably the biggest talking point in gaming at the moment, and most of the talk isn't especially positive. Whether it's the laborious nature of acquiring them in Star Wars: Battlefront 2, or the stickier question of whether they constitute gambling, most people are a bit fed up with the phenomenon.
But what if you love loot boxes? What if you love them so much, that you just want to sit down at your PC after a hard day at the grindstone, and open a bunch of loot crates? Imagine it: opening loot boxes, hundreds of them, perhaps thousands of them, without even needing to play a game to earn them. If you love loot boxes, it's too good to be true. But it is true, or at least, it will be soon.
Two games make this too-good-to-be-true promise: Box Looter 2018 (pictured above) which is due to release on Steam on November 30, is all about opening loot boxes. All you do, it seems, is open them, presumably with the audio accompaniment of cash registers chiming. Developer Ludo Land (aka indie dev Logan Fieth) describes it as a "dumb joke game" and a "fun little satirical game", but you needn't play it that way. You can just relish the joy of opening loot boxes.
And then there's I Can't Believe It's Not Gambling, developed by Mutant Entertainment Studios.
As far as "teaser trailers" go, this is the most effective I've ever seen. Watch the way the mouse hovers over that loot box, and note the horrendous emptiness you feel when you're not paid off by the cha-ching and confetti usually associated with the opening of loot boxes. It's diabolical. I hate this trailer.
The game is similarly satirical: you just open loot boxes in order to unlock more and better loot boxes. In this way, there is a sense of progress in the game – which could possibly get in the way of the primal pleasure of clicking on boxes.
"Open boxes, unlock new skins and hats for your Lootbox Loadout, then open some more boxes! Earn better boxes by selling what you don't want and spending more fake currency! This game is sure to hit that addicting itch that'll have you saying: I Can't Believe It's Not Gambling!"
Excellent. Can't wait. Not sure when this one comes out, but in order to cash in on the controversy it'd better be soon.