The game removes loot boxes, players riot instead of celebrating

The game removes loot boxes, players riot instead of celebrating

The game removes loot boxes, players riot instead of celebrating

A man in a pie hat sits near a logo for removed loot boxes.

Popular free-to-play mobile game Brawl Stars it’s doing something a little different. In an era where it seems like every game is trying to cheat you with more and more things to buy, instead it’s removing loot boxes and all random rewards entirely from the game. It’s yet another sign that loot boxes are in danger of becoming a relic of the past as lawmakers and players push back on random rewards. But that doesn’t mean Brawl Stars players are universally happy with their removal.

Released in 2019 for phones and tablets, Brawl Stars cute characters mixed with MOBA-like gameplay and some battle royale elements. The end result was a fun top-down competitive action game that I played for weeks on end. But since I stopped playing, millions have continued to enjoy it: Brawl Stars earned more than a billion dollars for Supercell and still has an active player base and community. Now, Supercell has removed all loot boxes from the game and the reaction to the change is strangely mixed.

Announced in a Brawl Talk video released last week, the latest update of Supercell a Brawl Stars removed all random rewards from the game. These boxes were mostly used to unlock new characters in the game. Since its release three years ago, Brawl Stars has heavily featured loot boxes as part of its rewards. But with yesterday’s update that is no longer the case.

Supercell / Brawl Stars

“No more odds, no more random rewards, and no more guessing games when you unlock Brawlers,” lead game designer Frank Keienburg said in Supercell’s Brawl Talk video.

Yesterday, as part of this update, all unclaimed chests were automatically opened and all rewards were awarded to players accordingly. Moving forward, Keienburg and Supercell say that all rewards, including battle passes, will be replaced with “different and deterministic rewards, some of which are new to the game.” Now, players have a new feature similar to the battle pass, The road of the stars, which allows them to unlock all characters for free by grinding. Players can now simply buy any brawler they want with gems, instead of randomly buying dozens of loot boxes to maybe get a specific hero.

“We’re making this change for a few reasons,” Keienburg continued. “Mainly, by moving away from probabilities and chance, which will make things more fair and predictable for you. It also gives you clear and exciting goals every time you play.

Of course, there’s also the possibility that Supercell and other developers are removing the loot boxes various governments around the world start repressing them with proposals for new laws and regulations.

While I think removing loot boxes is a good thing and something worth celebrating especially as mobile gaming continues to be some of the worst offenders with games even as good as Marvel shot including predatory purchases of over $100 or more— the community reaction is much less positive. While some players seem happy with the removal of random prize boxes, others have expressed disappointment. The comments on the Brawl Talk the video has gamers rallying against the devs and challenging boxes Return to Brawl Stars.

How come? For some it seems that the excitement of a loot has outweighed the frustration that often accompanies them. Others have suggested that they now have little interest in playing as the random rewards are removed. (I think some of these people need to stop and think if they really like it Brawl Stars or just like pulling a virtual lever on a slot machine…) We have seen something similar happen with Surveillance 2in which some players were angry about the removal of loot boxes and he demanded that they be returned to the game. And while I agree that progression into Surveillance 2 it sucks right now, I’d rather Blizzard find a way to fix the problem it doesn’t involve bring back the lootalthough before he gave many for free.

The reality is that as gaming continues to become more and more popular, more countries will start investigating the industry and how it makes money. And loot boxes will probably never make a comeback as long as they do many governments are crusading to regulate or outlaw them.

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