Pokémon Go developer Niantic has revealed that it is testing various new features to add to the popular mobile game, including the ability to see a list of possible creatures that will hatch from eggs. The announcement came via the Niantic Support Twitter account.
Eggs are a major part of the free-to-play game, which tasks players with collecting and training a large assortment of creatures. Eggs come in five varieties, with different probabilities for each of the more than 200 currently available pocket monsters.
Players can collect eggs either by visiting real world landmarks or by receiving them as gifts from friends or as rewards for completing quests and battles. Players then must place the eggs in incubators to hatch them. All players receive one incubator with unlimited uses for free, though others must be awarded or purchased using real-world currency.
It is likely that this feature comes in response to concerns that the eggs function as “loot boxes,” which have been labeled as a form of gambling in some parts of the world. This is due to the uncertainty of the odds in which a creature can be hatched from a particular egg, and the encouragement to purchase extra incubators through the in-game store.
“Loot boxes” is an umbrella term given to any in-game item that uses random chance to award items, often after a transaction involving real-world funds. Many games have come under scrutiny for their use of the feature, including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, NBA 2K20, and Star Wars Battlefront 2.
There have been considerable steps taken by store fronts and even governments concerning loot boxes. Apple has stated since December 2017 in their developer guidelines that “randomized virtual items for purchase must disclose the odds of receiving each type of item to customers prior to purchase.”
Both Belgium and the Netherlands have taken more extreme measures concerning loot boxes, declaring in 2018 that they are a form of gambling and have banned all games that contain them. Pokémon Go at the time of this writing still operates as normal in these countries.
Despite this, loot boxes have proven to be extremely lucrative and are projected to garner over $20 billion in revenue for developers by 2025.
What say you? Do you welcome this feature to Pokémon Go, or do you see it not being very useful? Do you consider the eggs feature a form of loot boxes? What is your view of loot boxes in general? We’d love to hear what you have to say!
Source for Header Image: Niantic