Loot boxes are expected to generate £15bn (USD $20.3 bn) in revenue by 2025, a new report by Juniper Research found.
If you’re not already familiar, Loot boxes are fun, digital treasure chests in video games containing undisclosed items. Players can purchase loot boxes to win prizes – some contain game-enhancing perks such as weapons, while others contain nothing at all – this element of chance is why they are considered gambling. They are used by popular games such as Fortnite, Overwatch and the Fifa franchise.
Juniper research added that over 230 million gamers — or 5% of players — are expected to purchase loot boxes in 2025, with mobile gaming content making up the majority of these transactions.
The research also showed where loot boxes are projected to be most popular, with the Far East and China representing the wide majority of revenue.
Last year alone, the study said that loot boxes made an estimated $15 million, and predicts this will grow by around 5% each year after. Juniper Research projected that growth will get slower and slower each year as “consumers become fatigued with loot boxes and legislative constraints limiting the market.”
EA is regularly at the centre of the debate around loot boxes; the publisher currently faces two class-action lawsuits in the US and Canada over their use in its sports games.
Many consider loot boxes to be dangerous as young children make up a good chunk of video gamers. If they have access to loot boxes and grow an unhealthy interest in the gambling side of the game, it could have addictive consequences.
Earlier this year, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) made moves to protect underage people from gambling harm by increasing the minimum age players can participate in the national lottery to 18.
What do you think? Does this growth mean an exciting perk is growing more popular or is it the sign of something more sinister? Let us know on Twitter! @1stClassSlots