Love them or hate them, loot boxes, crates, chests – whatever the developer calls them, they’re popular and for a good reason: they’ve successfully westernized the long-running gacha mechanic seen in various Japanese games. Some paid games even have these mechanics in the full, paid product now – thus review aggregate OpenCritic is taking a stance against the scheme.
“We’re going to take a stand against loot boxes. We’re looking into ways to add business model information to OpenCritic,” the company said on Twitter.
They went a bit further in asking their fanbase to help them decide on a fair and appropriate way to display a game has these mechanics, to display “business model intrusiveness.”
OpenCritic didn’t stop there, however, as they’re looking to specify whether or not a game has random / loot boxes versus “sure-thing” or buying things direct, as well as straight up cosmetic in-game purchases and how much buying power you have. They also want to specify if something is exclusively paid or if it can also be acquired in-game.
Finally, they noted a need to focus on whether or not a game has in-game prompts for purchasable content or simply a dedicated in-game store instead, as well as how long it would take to get 100% completion in the game with absolutely no extra payment.
OpenCritic has been presenting itself as a direct alternative to Metacritic, where the former presents objective aggregates of all the review scores to a game – while the latter weighs the various scores against their own formula (which factors in things outside the score itself). OpenCritic is going a step further now in trying to present further details to more empower the consumer.