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The games we play: Relationships between game genre, business model and loot box opening

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGamiFIN 2019
Subtitle of host publicationGamiFIN Conference 2019
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational GamiFIN Conference - Levi, Finland
Duration: 8 Apr 201910 Apr 2019

Publication series

NameCEUR Workshop Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1613-0073


ConferenceInternational GamiFIN Conference


The use of loot boxes is endemic in contemporary games, having originated in the free-to-play games of China and Japan they are now a common feature in almost every type of business model and genre. Primarily used to increase monetisation they are not without controversy as they have been accused of driving a “pay-to-win” approach to gaming and have even been linked to the development of problematic gambling behaviours. Considering the fact that there are a huge range of disparate practices connected to loot boxes, and that loot boxes are present in all forms of contemporary games this research asks the following question: Which business models and game genres, if any, are associated with increased opening of paid loot boxes? We employed survey data (N=613) gathered among gamers. We can conclude that loot boxes seem to be pervasive across games and there is no strong evidence that any business model of genre would clearly predict loot box opening activities and that players of all kinds of games probably encounter them in the gaming activities one way or the other. However, we can also conclude that loot box opening activities seems to be most strongly connected with both the retail and free-to-play business models as well as the shooter game genre.

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Esports, Free-to-play, Gambling, Loot box, Video games

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland