Here are the top 10 controversies related to loot boxes and in-game gambling in 2021:
1. FIFA Ultimate Team: EA Sports’ FIFA series has long faced controversy over its Ultimate Team mode, accused of using loot boxes resembling gambling. This year, multiple lawsuits and calls for government regulations targeted FIFA’s loot box system.
2. Epic Games vs. Apple: The legal battle between Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, and Apple highlighted the concerns over in-app purchases, loot boxes, and app store policies, bringing attention to the issue.
3. Cyberpunk 2077: CD Projekt Red’s highly anticipated release, Cyberpunk 2077, sparked controversy not only for its myriad of technical issues but also its hidden mechanics resembling slot machines in the game’s casinos.
4. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO): The popular multiplayer game has been at the center of several controversies over the years, with reports of minors being involved in skin gambling and trading utilizing their loot box items.
5. Overwatch: Blizzard’s team-based shooter Overwatch faced backlash for its loot box system, which critics argue encourages players to engage in gambling-like behavior to obtain desired in-game items.
6. NBA 2K21: The latest installment in the NBA 2K series faced scrutiny for its in-game gambling mechanics, where players could purchase packs to collect virtual trading cards, often resembling loot boxes.
7. Gacha Games: The world of mobile gaming has its fair share of controversies surrounding gacha games, which heavily rely on randomized loot boxes for character or item acquisition. Numerous complaints have been raised, particularly in Japan and China.
8. Valorant: Riot Games’ competitive shooter Valorant drew attention for its cosmetic bundle pricing, including an Ultra Edition bundle priced at $100, leading to debates about the ethics and potential gambling aspects of such purchases.
9. Hogwarts Legacy: The upcoming role-playing game set in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Hogwarts Legacy, announced its inclusion of a trans-inclusive character creator, leading to controversy partly linked to concerns over microtransactions and loot boxes.
10. Star Wars Battlefront II (continuing controversy): Although released in 2017, the controversy surrounding the loot box system in Star Wars Battlefront II persisted in 2021. Many players criticized the game’s pay-to-win elements and gambling-like mechanics.
Please note that controversies surrounding loot boxes and in-game gambling are continually evolving, and new controversies may have emerged since the time of writing.