For the few days I have been sitting in with some banned whales in Pirates of the Caribbean:Tides of War. I was recently reminded of what compelled them to start using loaders to begin with. It was a very valuable loot box.
The game came out with a new ship called the Mammoth. The only way to get it was purchasing loot boxes that gave a 1% chance each chest. Normally I would call it a pack, but, with such a valuable item, and such low odds we call it what it is, a loot box.
Players would need to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars to obtain it. In a pay to win game you either give up, or pay up. This is what is destroying POC:TOW
Large spenders doing the math turned to the loader market to get these loot boxes cheaper. And unfortunately these were criminal loaders ripping off the players and developer alike.
In recent news the Netherlands released a study that is opening the door to loot box regulation in games. This was followed by Belgium threatening imprisonment of gaming executives if loot boxes in their game continue to fit its gambling laws. This also was around the time South Korea’s FTC fined three games for loot box violations.
Perhaps this is why the sudden action of Joycity the developer of POC:TOW to do a sudden mass banning? Fear of a changing climate and imprisonment? We likely won’ t know. The timing is convenient though. Joycity had months, if not years to address illegal loaders and refunds in their game, but chose the past week to mass ban hundreds of spending players based on a poor metric. This is a decision that is being regarded as a death sentence to their game.
There are issues like the loaders ripped off the company, and even some players where complicit in this. Most players being banned were not even aware of the illegal action of the loaders or involved with loading. The point is the game developers work hard to make the game as addictive as possible. They then made it so the only way for the hardest addicted players to stay on top was to buy loot boxes in bulk. They reap what they sow.
As of writing this google has refunded players over 11 million dollars over this. The number is growing. Now if Apple would stand by its customers, justice might be served. At least part of it. The loaders need their day next.