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'Fortnite' eliminates blind loot boxes in its PvE mode

It's an important step toward transparency.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
01.26.19 in AV
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Epic Games

Epic Games has kept paid blind loot boxes out of Fortnite's signature battle royale mode, but now it's clearing them out of the cooperative Save the World mode, too. As of the 7.30 update, Epic has ditched V-Buck Llamas in favor of X-Ray Llamas that show you what you'll get when you shell out 50 V-Bucks. You won't spend real money on a set you don't want, in other words. If you don't like what's on offer (and aren't prepared to earn it through gameplay), you can wait until the following day.

You can still buy specific items directly using in-game currency, and other Llamas (minis and events) you earn through gameplay are still blind. Not surprisingly, though, you've lost the option to get paid Llamas in bulk. Epic wants you to see the contents of each bundle before you shell out cash, and it figures the inconvenience is worth the added transparency.

To some extent, this is a necessary move. Blind loot boxes are illegal in Belgium and under investigation elsewhere (including by the FTC in the US), and Epic likely didn't want to face legal trouble. To a degree, this also acknowledges wider player resistance to paid loot boxes. There's a concern that the practice is not only exploitative, but has spoiled the mechanics of some games by making it painful to progress or obtain perks unless you're willing to gamble real-world cash.

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