Here’s Some Bad News If You’ve Already Had Enough of Lockbox Bashing

Hey, another article on lockboxes! Woo-hoo! In case you belong to the group of people that are somewhat content with lockboxes, and are already tired discussing it, well, here’s some bad news. Because thanks to EA and the Battlefront fiasco, the topic is not going anywhere anytime. If anything, the war on lockboxes is just beginning.

Cash and Votes

And make no mistake, shit is indeed getting real, the discussion has long hit the political stage. Now we all know that stuff takes time to get through legislative, but two things politics value the most are directly involved here: Taxes and votes. Lockboxes are gambling and in most states and countries you need an official license from the government for that. And that license isn’t cheap and sometimes comes with additional obligations.

Second, an angry mob is the worst, especially when they try to protect children. I think we can agree on a certain hyperbole around everything nowadays, but you especially don’t want parents and the young demographic raging your way. It will make you look bad in the process, because they are mostly right, and you are not.

The Industry Is Already Acting Preventive

More than that, the industry itself is slowly starting to back off. Several devs actively spoke out against lockboxes. Either because they actually think it’s finally legitimate to say something against one of the premier monetization systems, or to protect their own and their games’ reputations. It’s slowly becoming a black and white area. Good or bad, lockbox or not. EA’s stock lost 3.1$ billion this month. Games featuring lockboxes will sell less in the future.

We are at a point where you have to discuss the possibility of a  post lockbox era, because that’s where we are headed. And it doesn’t help that some idiots still come up with bullshit claims about why this all isn’t justified. Do we pay too less for games? Probably. But does that mean you’ll have to attach addictive systems to make stuff work? Absolutely not. I agree this is somewhat a problem of society, but also of a market that’s long saturated. Plus if it’s so important to you that people pay the correct price for goods, let’s start with food and clothing. I’m sorry video games, you are not even close to the top of that list.

Neverwinter One of Those Games That Could Suffer

I think you realize what camp I’m in here. But that being said, I don’t like this development for Neverwinter one bit. It’s probably one of those small market games that might not be able to compete in a post lockbox world. Let’s call it interesting times folks, and at least there’s no shortage of stuff to write about with more news hitting the MMO-verse on a daily basis. And hey, it’s not like we didn’t warn you months ago.

What’s your take on the ongoing war against lockboxes not only in Neverwinter, but MMOs in general? Share your thoughts in the comments below and visit the corresponding thread on our message board!

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j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

10 thoughts on “Here’s Some Bad News If You’ve Already Had Enough of Lockbox Bashing

  • November 29, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Oh for god’s sake. Most of us are getting lockbox keys via VIP which at most, ignoring all obvious rebates, costs 500k AD per month. Again, ignoring all other benefits, you get 30 keys and the lowest-priced prize from the current lockbox sells for about 15k AD. Their median value is probably closer to 30k AD. So what’s the big deal?

    With the NW lockboxes you actually stand a good chance of “profiting” from it. Sure most of us aren’t getting the 1/2000 chance to get the biggest prize, but unlike casino games you’re getting someting of actual (in-game) value everytime.

    And for most of us regular players we earn our Zen in-game, and not with real money anyway. It’s easy and renders the whole “gambling” argument moot.

    • November 29, 2017 at 9:06 am

      In case you’re interested, I already talked about why “earning ZEN ingame” is no counter-argument to “pay-to-win” or lockbox gambling:

      Although science suggests otherwise, what you’re saying probably makes sense legally, and that’s why companies weren’t afraid so far. But it’s becoming much less of a factor vs. the popular opinion. Again: EA has lost 3.1$B stock value. Do you think they’ll get this back on the court only because their lockboxes are legal? Nobody cares about technicalities any longer. People want lockboxes gone, and it will eventually happen. On the court, or because the monetization no longer works because of stigmatization.

  • November 29, 2017 at 8:30 am

    You are wrong in a sense that you aren’t “earning your zen ingame”. Someone else pays 10 dollars for your 1 month VIP. You actually have no way to earn zen in this game.

  • November 29, 2017 at 9:42 am

    I’m not sure I get your argument that by exchanging AD for Zen I’m actually making somebody else paying for it. Clearly, there’s people paying for Zen who are converting it to AD for some reason, but it’s not at all related to the lockbox issue.

    There are two reasonnable arguments against gambling in general. #1 Most forms of gambling are designed to create a few big winners, lot’s of small loosers while the house makes a profit. #2 Gambling releases hormones in our bodies that make in addictive, and gambling operators prey on that.

    For NW, you can’t possibly argue that the lockbox system is making everybody poorer, since most keys earned through VIP actually cost very little, and most prizes have a reasonnable value that is set by supply and demand. And I’m sure we all get a bit of a hormone rush by opening our daily lockbox, but that’s not any different than the thrill of beating a dungeon or playing the game in general. It’s all hormones in the end.

    For every lost soul spending 1000$ of his parent’s money on keys, there are probably thousands of regular players enjoying the game normally. And this is probably true of any game or activity.

  • November 29, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Tried to send ya a link to a CNBC article on the subject via discord a week or two back. A few legislators in Hawaii are promising legislation on the subject and have asked the state attorney general to open an investigation.

    The matter is getting big, because it is starting to gain the attention of non-gaming news services like CNBC.

  • November 29, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    Erm….why is open lockboxes per deffiniton gambling?

  • November 30, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Why os it always parents’ money? I’ve spent thousands of my own money into the game.

    • July 18, 2018 at 8:39 am

      You, my idiot friend, are the problem.

      • July 18, 2018 at 12:35 pm

        Lol … some ceo somewhere: “need meor random click rewards”

        and gov is only really mad because they don’t get a %.

  • November 30, 2017 at 3:44 am

    Some friends spent money to buy boxes during black friday ( more than 500 for some of them), they got nothing cool.
    I had some ad that i converted into zen, i opened 100 boxs, i got the newlife pack worth 9.5 m on ps4.
    Weirdly, i wasnt thrilled and decided to stop neverwinter and gave all my stuff to my guild…

    I want to thank the team behind nwo for all the great job you did/still do that was very usefull.

    It’s time to see if the grass is more green elsewhere.

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