Video game review aggregation website, OpenCritic, just announced that the site will be fighting back against loot boxes.
In a series of Tweets, OpenCritic announced that the website will "take a stand against loot boxes," adding that it is "looking into ways to add business model information to OpenCritic." The website is also asking readers to give input as to how OpenCritic can best tackle these new developments. "Let us know your thoughts on how we can categorize and display 'business model intrusiveness' on game pages in a fair and scalable way."
We're going to take a stand against loot boxes. We're looking into ways to add business model information to OpenCritic.— OpenCritic (@Open_Critic) October 9, 2017
OpenCritic listed some of the tags it will be experimenting with to denote the type of paid content a game will include, such as: "Random", "Cosmetic vs buying power", "Exclusively paid vs can be acquired in game", and "100% unlock completion time with no payment". These tags will help ensure that readers will know immediately if and how a video utilizes loot and whether the kind of loot is purely cosmetic or necessary for the game's completion.
Up until now OpenCritic has served as an alternative to other review aggregation websites such as Metacritic, but this is the first time that the website has pushed for classifications of a game outside of its review scores. However, Loot boxes and other kinds of paid content have become one of the most controversial topics among video game consumers today.
Games like Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Destiny 2, Forza 7, and upcoming games like Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Assassin's Creed: Origins are all currently being hotly debated online for their respective uses of microtransactions. It should be noted that not all of these games use microtransactions in the same way, which makes a case for OpenCritic's multi-labeled approach to the subject.
So wherever you sit on the loot box conversation, it seems like the subject is becoming a big enough issue that consumer facing websites like OpenCritic are taking a stand.