Enlarge (credit: OpenCritic)
In the week since I ranted about the increasingly poisonous practice of loot boxes appearing in retail-priced video games, more big-ticket titles have shown up to the loot box party. Apparently, we’re not the only folks fed up with the trend, which combines slot-machine psychology with unclear real-money economies in games. On Monday, the review-aggregation site OpenCritic announced the first major game-review initiative to combat the practice.
“We’re going to take a stand against loot boxes,” the site announced on its Twitter feed. “We’re looking into ways to add business model information to OpenCritic.”
OpenCritic says it’s currently testing a number of flags that can be applied to a given game’s review page.

The simplest ones would clarify whether a game has a “loot box” system that randomizes your progress in a game, as opposed to an experience-driven or store-driven system that lets players freely choose any changes or upgrades. OpenCritic would also judge a loot box system’s “buying power” to clarify whether a game’s randomly generated loot boxes contain anything beyond a “cosmetic” tweak.
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