Skip to main content

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney calls on industry to get rid of loot boxes

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney had some harsh words for the game industry at this year’s DICE Summit in Las Vegas. During his DICE keynote speech on Wednesday, Sweeney took a firm stance against loot boxes and other pay-to-win practices.

The Epic co-founder called the state of monetization in games a “customer adversarial model,” as he mused about the industry’s continued growth and where he sees it going in the next 10 years.

“We have to ask ourselves, as an industry, what we want to be when we grow up,” Sweeney told the crowd, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Do we want to be like Las Vegas, with slot machines … or do we want to be widely respected as creators of products that customers can trust? I think we will see more and more publishers move away from loot boxes.”

While Epic’s own Fortnite includes its fair share of purchasable cosmetics, Sweeney’s problems are with pay-to-win mechanics in games that encourage gambling.

“We should be very reticent of creating an experience where the outcome can be influenced by spending money. Loot boxes play on all the mechanics of gambling except for the ability to get more money out in the end.”

Sweeney’s thoughts are consistent with how Fortnite’s approach to monetization has evolved over time. Early last year, loot boxes in the game’s Save The World mode received a major change with the introduction of X-Ray Llamas, which allowed players to see the full contents of a box before purchasing it.

The question of whether or not loot boxes can be considered gambling has become more pressing in the past year. The U.K.’s Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Committee put out a report in September condemning the practice and calling on lawmakers to catch up with the times.

Sweeney was much more optimistic on the subject of crossplay, which he described as a positive step forward for the development of games as a communication platform.

“What we all really want and need to accept is equal access to all customers and give up our attempts to create our own private wall guard or private monopoly. In Fortnite, the player who spends time with friends plays for twice as long and spends more money. Cross-platform is the future, and we all have to do our part,” he said.

Last year, Epic Games reaffirmed its support for cross-platform matchmaking in Fortnite, telling players that it was committed to making matches fairer for players on all platforms.

Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
Rock Band 4 gets its final piece of DLC next week after over 8 years of support
Key art for Rock Band 4

Harmonix revealed that the January 25 DLC tracks for Rock Band 4 will be the final new ones added to the game.

This ends a streak of more than eight years of weekly DLC for the rhythm game. Ever since Rock Band 4 was released in October 2015, new DLC songs have been made available for purchase every week, giving the game one of the most impressive live service tails in the industry. Ultimately, Harmonix says it will have released nearly 3,000 songs as DLC for Rock Band 4 after the final content drop next week, and that live service support for seasons and online play will "continue as normal" after next week.

Read more
Google loses landmark antitrust lawsuit against Epic Games
Tinder on the GooglePlay App Store.

Google has lost a landmark case against Epic Games after a jury decided on Monday that the web giant operates an illegal monopoly via its Android app store.

The decision was announced at the end of a month-long trial that itself was part of a longer legal dispute between Google and Epic Games that’s been rumbling on since 2020.

Read more
How to get the free Jackie skin in Fortnite: Rocket Racing
The character select screen in Fortnite: Rocket Racing.

Alongside Lego Fortnite, the other new game within a game that was recently launched in Fortnite proper is the thrilling Rocket Racing. While matches are much shorter than in either of its sister games, that hasn't stopped Epic from giving you plenty of quests to complete to spice up your races. The Try Rocket Racing! quests are comprised of three parts, and finishing them all will unlock the stylish Jackie skin for free. Aside from being a great-looking skin worthy of nabbing, these quests will help get you comfortable behind the wheel in Fortnite: Rocket Racing.
How to complete the Try Rocket Racing! quest

The three requirements to finish the Try Rocket Racing! quest are to play your first race, then complete 10 races, and finally, to reach the Gold rank.

Read more