Blizzard has put an end to real-money Heroes of the Storm loot box purchases.
Patch notes for the game’s public test region revealed that loot chests will no longer be purchasable with gems - Heroes of the Storm’s premium virtual currency. Chests will still be available for 3000 gold - earned in-game currency - each.
It’s not a complete end to real-money purchases. Players will still be able to buy gems to spend on cosmetics, boosters, heroes and bundles. But Blizzard looks to be playing it safe on the gambling front by restricting random-chance loot to earned in-game currency.
This isn’t the first push against paid loot boxes HOTS has suffered. Belgian players saw systems like this removed from Blizzard’s entire catalogue. It’s likely this next step is another move to draw controversy away from the firm.
But HOTS itself isn’t in too hot a shape itself these days, and it’s not surprising to see features scaled back. Developers have been moved off the title and esports events have been called off, following Blizzard’s apparent failure to hit Dota-like heights with its own take on a genre spawned by Warcraft.
As loot box discourse continues and gambling and addiction accusations hit the industry, some researchers have called for a more cooperative attitude from the industry to help fully investigate the effects of this form of digital gambling.