Just before the release of Star Wars Battlefront 2, a lot of debates took place about the loot boxes system in multiplayer mode.
I listened to “Silence on joue” this week, a french podcast about video gaming, and from what I understood, players were complaining that they would have to buy loot boxes in order to have access to some items, and those loot boxes would drop items randomly, so you could spend a lot of money before getting the item you’re looking for. They were also complaining about the pain-to-win model, but it’s not what Im interested in here.
What stroke me is this question: how can you tell it’s random? Items have different drop-rates, you click to open your boxe, cross your fingers and if you’re lucky you get what you want. From a gamer point of view, from an individual stand-point, it looks like it’s random. It feels like random. But is it?
Im challenging this based on reading Game makers are profiling players to keep them hooked and Behind the addictive psychology and seductive art of loot boxes.
As machine-learning gets bigger and bigger in profiling gamers, I don’t see any reason why the output of these algorithms could’t be also used to influence loots one get from loot boxes.
So, is it random? Is it AI? Will you be spending money to get something you’re doomed to never loot because some AI for some reason think it’s better not to let you have this?
From an individual stand point, you can’t make no conclusion. It’s impossible to tell. But assuming it’s random because it’s always been is worst for me than being left with an open question.
AI is sold to us as something that people will benefit from. It’s all marketed this way. But with this loot boxes thing, would AI be there to enhance my experience as a gamer or would it have been programed with another goal in mind, like maximizing revenue?