OpenCritic, one of the two largest reviews aggregation sites for video games, is joining the fight against loot boxes and microtransactions in full-price games.
Through its official Twitter, OpenCritic posted a statement about the ongoing player uproar against the trend, promising to implement design changes to make business model details available on game pages.
The site doesn’t have a complete idea yet how this will take shape, but it’s asking fans to relay what details they think should be visible on game pages. OpenCritic is calling this the “business model intrusiveness” filter, and it has a few ideas about what should be shown.
We're going to take a stand against loot boxes. We're looking into ways to add business model information to OpenCritic.
— OpenCritic (@Open_Critic) October 9, 2017
For instance, game pages would show whether or not a game has random loot boxes, and if they’re possible to acquire in-game without the need for real-money currency. This would also cover how games are advertising these options to the player, whether through a dedicated in-game store, prompts during the gameplay etc.
Crucially, one big point of the new suggested system has to do with whether or not the game can be completed without spending any real-world money on loot boxes.
It’s interesting that OpenCritic chose to be part of this conversation. The site’s job is to aggregate review scores from the different outlets.
Unlike Metacritic, where reviews are weighed against a formula that takes into account factors outside of the score itself, OpenCritic prides itself on presenting objective aggregates of all the accounted scores, keeping each site’s own scale and rating system as is. The idea that a review aggregation site would take a stance one way or another on controversial topics like this one is certainly worth discussing.