It’s been an “epic” week in PC gaming.
On Tuesday, Epic Games and Psyonix announced that they’d be removing loot boxes from Rocket League
, the “soccer with cars” multiplayer game that’s been a staple on the most-played and most-viewed charts for years. Epic had already removed loot boxes from Fortnite, the game that generated so much money it was able to buy Psyonix and Rocket and launch the Epic Games Store.
It’s a big week for cracking down on loot boxes – and benefiting consumers. On Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission held hearings about loot boxes, and Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony said they’re working on new policies to require game developers and publishers to reveal the rates for items to appear in loot boxes. This will spill into PC gaming, as a number of these games are multiplatform.
But I’d be happier if the FTC held a hearing about helping small businesses avoid hate online. The most recent incident involves Glumberland and its upcoming game Ooblets, a cute life sim. It’s the next Epic Games Store exclusive, so of course people are coming out of the ether to whine about having to use another launcher or tout the ridiculous, racist conspiracy theory that Chinese megacorp Tencent (which owns a stake in Epic) is using your personal information gleaned from the store.
Glumberland isn’t the only developer getting harassed for choosing Epic over Steam at launch. When a platform is willing to pay you for exclusivity, who wouldn’t jump at the chance at financial security over wondering if anyone will see your game on Steam?
It’d be nice to see how the feds look into online harassment as well as loot boxes – the sooner, the better.
– Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor