Game Theory: WARNING! Loot Boxes are Watching You RIGHT NOW! | Summary and Q&A

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January 14, 2018
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The Game Theorists
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Game Theory: WARNING! Loot Boxes are Watching You RIGHT NOW!

TL;DR

Game developers and card makers use targeted strategies to manipulate players into spending more money on loot boxes and card packs.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How do casinos track individual player habits?

Casinos use membership cards, like the Total Rewards card, to track players' behaviors, including their preferred games and spending habits. This allows them to offer personalized rewards and keep players engaged.

Q: Can video games adjust the odds of getting rare items in loot boxes?

Yes, unlike casinos, video game companies can change the odds of getting a desirable item in a loot box at any time. This keeps players engaged by rewarding them even after a string of failed attempts.

Q: How do game developers tailor pricing to individual users?

Companies like Scientific Revenue use analytical software to track player behavior and adjust the pricing of microtransactions based on what a specific user is willing to spend. This personalized pricing strategy has been proven to increase in-app purchases.

Q: Can loot boxes and card packs be considered gambling?

While loot boxes and card packs share similarities with gambling, one key difference is that players always receive something in return for their purchase. However, there is an ongoing debate about whether these practices should be regulated as gambling.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Loot boxes and card packs have been used for decades to incentivize players to spend more money.

  • Casinos have been tracking individual player habits for years, allowing them to optimize their layouts and offer perks to keep players coming back.

  • Game developers use data analysis to tailor pricing and microtransactions to individual users, increasing in-app purchases.

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