It’s safe to say that online gaming as a whole is absolutely thriving and many of the biggest games and services are pulling in numbers that rival even the biggest of traditional sporting options too – but there have long been concerns around some of the biggest markets in gaming, largely with certain mechanics that constitute as a form of gambling, with the biggest target being the loot box market.

Whilst it isn’t a new market, existing in titles throughout early online gaming back in the 2000’s with the likes of Gachapon from eastern games, it didn’t really emerge until 2013 with the launch of one of the bigger esports titles that still rely on the system in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with a market that reached an estimated $8 billion in just a few short years, and inspired other games to follow suit by adding their own spin on it too to cash in on the success. But it has raised concerns around whether or not they are gambling, court rulings in certain countries have already started to move to have loot boxes removed from bigger titles and investigations from others such as the UK could see changes come in the future, but other titles have introduced something that could be a solution for many, whilst also not being a new approach.

Belgium & US Aiming to Ban Loot Boxes | Fextralife (Image from

The latest big title to emerge in the gaming space has been with Riot Games’ title of Valorant, looking to corner part of the market previously held by the title of Counter-Strike, and following the blueprint laid out by their other esports title which remains the biggest in the world of League of Legends, their approach to microtransactions has been to introduce a store with rotating cosmetics for purchases and limited-time deals, players can purchase the cosmetics there and then or wait for a sale further down the line and has completely removed loot boxes in a setting where they had been prevalent for quite some time. It has for some been a big component for success too as this review of Valorant can list it as one of the bigger selling points for the game alongside the growing success of the title.

Whilst some of the biggest services for online gambling with the likes of online casinos and betting sites continue to grow, there will be a lot of interest in how the market will continue to change for the mainstream options and how the end consumer will be protected by these changes, one thing for certain is that sweeping changes in some sense are on the way and it could mean that the long-established use of loot boxes and certain microtransactions could be on the way out.