Pokémon GO players are expressing their outrage at the recently-revealed Cyber Week Special loot box prices. While Cyber Week is a huge event for gamers of all types and proclivities, services like Steam tend to slash prices, putting up games and consoles on massive sales. However, Cyber Week also applies to the games themselves, which often offer discounts on in-game currency and items.
For Pokémon GO, these in-game purchases often include items like Pokéballs, boosts like Egg Incubators, or loot box-like items such as Lucky Eggs. Even though it is, technically, possible to progress through Pokémon GO without spending any real-life currency, many players do elect to spend money on these assets. This is among the reasons why mobile games like Pokémon GO are among the most profitable games on the market. So whenever those games do announce a sale of in-game currency or assets, it’s normally an opportunity for players to celebrate. Unfortunately, that was not the case for the recently-announced Pokémon GO Cyber Week Special.
As part of Cyber Week, Niantic announced via the app that three tiers of loot boxes – Special, Ultra, and Adventure – would be available for purchase. The problem, as many players including Redditor h2oskid3 pointed out, is that the Cyber Week boxes appear to be priced about the same as they would be normally. Many players in the comment section of the Reddit thread decried the move calling it an attempt by developer Niantic to trick unwitting buyers. Others, however, suspect that the pricing might have been an oversight.
Loot boxes, of course, have been something of a controversial subject in gaming. Many players and observers have likened them to gambling, condemning their inclusion in modern games. Pokémon GO has been under fire for similar issues. Back when Pokémon GO introduced eggs to the game, they were likened to loot boxes because players had no knowledge of the odds of getting a particular Pokémon and because of how they interact with Incubators. These Cyber Week boxes, while not quite the same, certainly don’t seem too far from those loot boxes. Especially when players don’t have a great idea of the probability of getting certain rewards.
As the current Pokémon GO season comes to an end, it’s understandable that many players might be interested in getting a cheap loot box. These boxes might contain valuable boosts or items that can help catch new Pokémon or increase their chance to obtain a rare creature. But some players clearly aren’t willing to pay the price for the Cyber Week boxes without a discount.
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Pokemon Go is available now on iOS and Android.