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.

Related Videos

“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.

Editors' Recommendations

Fortnite Indiana Jones guide: How to get the new Indy skin
Indiana Jones in Fortnite.

After weeks of waiting, Indiana Jones has finally been added to Fortnite. Unlike many licensed characters, you don't need to spend money to play as Indy in the game. Instead, you have to complete a series of challenges to earn the skin, along with a set of Indiana Jones cosmetics.

In this guide, we'll walk you through completing all challenges to unlock the Indiana Jones skins in Fortnite.
See more

Read more
Epic Game Store fights back against review bombs with new user rating system
Epic Games Store user rating system

People review-bombing games even before they're released is a common problem on sites like Metacritic. To combat this, Epic Games announced that it's come out with a new user rating system on the Epic Games Store that should address the issues.

The Fortnite maker said on Friday it updated its digital gaming storefront with the user rating system to ensure its games receive direct feedback from the community as they're playing them. It works like this: Epic will randomly ask players to score a game on a five-star scale after playing a game for more than two hours. Their scores will be calculated into the game's overall score, which will appear on the game's Epic Games Store page to help other gamers determine whether or not it's worth playing.

Read more
Epic Games Summer Showcase offers new Lord of the Rings title, Ghostbusters, more
Dwarves look down into the miners of Moria.

Epic Games held its own showcase earlier today as a part of Summer Game Fest 2022. While there weren't any major announcements to satisfy gamers left wanting by the previous day's slightly disappointing Summer Game Fest Kickoff event, there were plenty of interesting trailers, including a new Lord of the Rings co-op crafting title reveal, a closer look at the upcoming Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed, and new season announcements for fan-favorites Splitgate, Rocket League and Fall Guys.

Check out our breakdown of everything revealed by Epic Games today below and keep an eye on upcoming streams for more gaming news.
Check out our Summer Gaming Marathon hub

Read more