Gambling / Loot Boxes

Spending real money to play a game of chance for a reward.

Some games contain forms of gambling. This is when you can spend real money to play a game of chance with the hope for a reward that is worth more than the money you put in. Gambling is a form of addiction, so this is a very powerful way to get people hooked on a game. In fact, it's so powerful that some governments around the world are putting laws in place to limit how much games can do this.

A Loot Box is a very common form of gambling that is found in modern games. Players purchase Loot Boxes using money or premium currency and when they open the box they get a random chance at getting an item. Valuable items are less likely to appear than regular items, and the number and quality of the items can be variable. Randomizing the rewards gives players an incentive to keep trying until they get the prize they want.

There are several psychological tricks that game developers can employ to make the gambling more powerful. The "Gambler's Fallacy" is a tendency for players to think that past events can affect the future probability of an event occurring. For example, if you have opened 10 Loot Boxes without success, you may mistakenly believe that the 11th Loot Box has a higher chance of breaking your dry spell and having something valuable inside of it. In reality, the odds are always the same and game developers may disguise this fact or suggest otherwise.

Another trick that is sometimes used is the "Hot-Hand Fallacy". This is the mistaken belief that a streak of luck will continue, when in fact the odds never change. The game may emphasize your successes and deemphasize your failures to make you feel like you are luckier than normal. This plays into a natural Optimism Bias that most people have.

Some people are also susceptible to Apophenia, which is tendency to see patterns or relationships between unrelated things. For example, suppose a game allows you to purchase multiple Loot Boxes at once. Someone may mistakenly notice that they get better rewards when they purchase Loot Boxes in multiples of three. Maybe this held true for a few times, but in reality the odds are always the same.


Mighty DOOM Mighty DOOM
"You can use gems (or money to buy them) to purchase more loot box keys."

Forge of Empires Forge of Empires
"some reward chests. lots of random stuff in events"

Limbus Company Limbus Company
"The game has a gacha system which you can exchange "Lunacy" to get characters of three different rarities, with the higher rarities having a smaller chance to obtain."

Cell to Singularity: Evolution Cell to Singularity: Evolution
"You can spend real life money to purchase "Darwinium" the in game currency, which can then be used to buy various loot crate style boxes containing upgrades. Although you don't have to, it's possible to play the game entirely without this."

Shadow Fight 3 Shadow Fight 3
"you can buy boosters that are guarenteed to drop random legendaries but theres no guarenteed youll get the one you want and there is no dupe prevention"

Hit The Island Hit The Island
"You get a chance to spin the wheel to earn stars. To keep spinning, you need to watch an ad."

Kawaii Home Design Kawaii Home Design
"Every clothe you can buy for your character is obtain with a sort of loot box system, and the chances to get a valuable item is very rare. Also, every 10th trial or so, you're granted with a chance to get a better item."

Papa's Mocharia To Go! Papa's Mocharia To Go!
"Sort of. Tickets can be purchased to play minigames, which output random rewards. These tickets can be acquired through gameplay as well."

Travel Town Travel Town
"To a certain extent - you can spend money on the in-game currency of "gems" and then sometimes spend gems on chests that may give you more in-game currency"

Food Street - Restaurant Management & Food Game Food Street - Restaurant Management & Food Game
"You use tickets but it exists occasionally"