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Destiny 2 should Steal Overwatch’s Loot Boxes or Shut down the Eververse

After an outpouring of community discontent over Destiny 2’s loot box-centered holiday event, Bungie game designer Christopher Barrett tweeted that the game’s development team is going to be having “lots of discussion” about the game’s microtransaction strategy, and will be updating the community with a new “path forward” in early 2018.

We’re going to explain why the community is so upset with Destiny 2’s microtransactions, and how Bungie might make things better moving forward. And the best model for doing loot boxes and microtransactions already exists under Destiny 2 publisher Activision-Blizzard’s corporate umbrella. It’s a little game called Overwatch.


Loot boxes force players to buy a bunch of random stuff they may not care about in order to try to get the items they want by putting a game’s premium cosmetics in randomized boxes.

Loot boxes and gacha systems also use the same psychological manipulations that the casino industry employs when designing slot machines to obscure their costs and encourage players to spend more. You’re not buying what you want to buy, you’re buying a blind box in which you hope to find what you want to buy. If you don’t get it, you usually have to continue spending until you do.

Many gamers and commentators oppose loot boxes categorically. Although Call of Duty and some sports titles rolled out similar systems ahead of Overwatch, the economic success of Blizzard’s model deserves a great deal of blame for the proliferation of subsequent loot box systems like Destiny 2’s.

However, while Overwatch’s systems may not be perfect, the game remains extremely popular. The Overwatch subreddit isn’t a giant pile of salt, and prominent Overwatch YouTubers don’t spend a lot of time posting videos about the dire state of the game and its loot system. People who are angry about loot boxes are angry about Overwatch loot boxes, but Overwatch players, while they may wish they were getting more legendary skins, don’t seem particularly angry when compared to Destiny 2 players or the benighted Star Wars Battlefront 2 community.


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