Attitudes towards gaming have been changing very quickly over the past few years as many more causal users have been able to turn to their mobile devices as their primary gaming platform and have allowed those that have been much more resistant to make the change to be more open to it. Amongst the biggest success in gaming on these devices in particular has been found through the likes of online casinos and online betting – betting has always had a solid ground with traditional sporting but the huge success of esports has had a marked impact too as when looking to bet on cs-go for example there are a huge number of operators now willing to take wagers.
Something that is being explored more in gaming now that casinos have become much more popular however is the link between non-gambling specific games and their link to the industry as different mechanics have become available that suggest change may be headed that way – the widespread introduction of microtransactions and loot boxes across many of the biggest titles in the world have launched what many are considering to be an online gambling pandemic as younger players are lured into spending a lot of money for the change of winning rare cosmetics that operate both as no value for some titles, or a huge real value in others.
(Image from bhstoday.org)
The most public target lately has been with gaming giant EA and their FIFA franchise which has had the sale of player packs criticized for being pseudo-gambling, and although the company defended itself by stating that these packs had no real value outside of the game there are certainly trading platforms aimed at fans of the game for exactly this – this had been the same for the esports title Counter-Strike when the loot box gambling mechanic enabled players to be in with the chance to win cosmetic skins that could be sold for potentially tens of thousands of dollars – and although some games like the previously mentioned FIFA are suggested not to have a real world value, there are certainly markets for it.
Regulation makers have continued to take a closer look at the systems to determine what should be done – changes have been made prior to ensure that the games have to show the odds of winning but has done little to dissuade those playing, and it may be the case that these systems are eventually removed – but as links between gambling and gaming in this sense continue to grow, more attention is now being paid to how changes that have been made to existing online platforms can help slow the growth for those now experiencing something similar.