top 123 video games unexpectedly turned into gambling
Video Games have been selling you Gambling in one way or another.
You need to read this complete list of 123 examples we have compiled. Some will surely surprise you.
Scroll down and see for yourself!
Casinos as Seen in Video Games
Let’s start with the easy ones – video game franchises that really have some sort of casino or gambling activities portrayed in them.
We’ll offer you eight big-name franchises that had you placed on your nice suit and start gambling – all in virtual form.
The GTA Series: Are You Even Surprised?
Rockstar made a name for themselves by leaning into several controversial game design choices.
There is no franchise more exemplar than the GTA games when it comes to rustling some feathers.
Whether you were driving around the neon saturated streets of Vice City, the rainy Liberty City, or the iconic San Andreas county, you'd countless gambling activities offered at your fingertips.
Here are some examples:
1. GTA Vice City
You might bet money on Vice Street Racer events, as Tommy Vercetti in Vice City. Whilst not Gambling by itself, as you'd to win the races making use of your driving skills, betting was a crucial part of the deal.
2. GTA San Andreas
The game introduced an entire Las Vegas-styled area called Las Venturas, filled with casinos. Three of those are accessible by the game’s protagonist Carl Johnson.
They host playable versions of Roulette, Blackjack, Poker and Slot games. You can also bet on horse races from several betting shop locations.
3. GTA IV
Its two expansions, The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, host versions of Hi-Lo and illegal boxing match betting.
4. GTA Chinatown Wars
The mobile and portable game has a Scratch Card function for its players.
5. GTA V and Online
While in GTA V, you merely have illegal street races to bet on, GTA On line includes a flurry of “legal” gambling activities. These were introduced with 2019 The Diamond Casino & Resort update.
The GTA games are controversial by design, so the casino life additions would only make sense.
Cowboy Boots and Gambling Bets: Red Dead Redemption Series
6. Red Dead Redemption
You didn’t think we’d be done with Rockstar Games, did you?
Among its other noteworthy franchises, The Red Dead games, have dipped their toes in certain games of chance.
Red Dead Redemption has its Gambling Multiplayer Challenges, which include Liar’s Dice and Poker. These include the accordingly named Liars and Cheats DLC.
Don’t like playing rigged wagering games with other players?
Red Dead Redemption has these games of chance in Single Player mode, with some extra activities, like blackjack. Of course, not absolutely all minigames are luck-based. You can also take part in arm wrestling, horseshoes and five-finger fillet.
Fun Fact: When you win a complete of $1000 from Gambling, additionally you unlock a scrap of the Savvy Merchant outfit.
7. Red Dead Redemption 2
But that’s an old gen game. What does Red Dead Redemption 2 offer in turn?
Poker, Blackjack and Five Finger Fillet make a get back in the sequel. Rockstar also added Dominoes to the Red Dead Redemption 2 minigame list.
We’ll see if the Multiplayer options also make a reappearance.
What would a Western-themed game be without its fair share of Gambling? Games of luck and the Red Dead games are natural partners.
8. The Fallout Games: Betting in a Radioactive Setting
Let’s move to the industry juggernaut created by Interplay Entertainment and currently owned by Bethesda: Fallout.
Say it with me: War, war never changes. And neither does Gambling, as it seems.
Most Fallout entries, whether new or old, hold some kind of bet-related minigames. Here are a few:
Fallout 1 and 2 have some variants of Roulette.
You can play some Craps in Fallout 2. While Craps tables are present in New Vegas, the actual game is unplayable.
Fallout 1 and 2 maybe you have bet on boxing matches in New Reno and Junktown, respectively. Slots are also present in both of these.
Blackjack is playable in Fallout 1, while you can find Poker in Fallout Tactics.
Last but not least, Fallout New Vegas, a game title centred around the eponymous city rebuilt from pre-War Las Vegas’s remains, naturally has got the most gambling games in the franchise.
You are able to encounter both recognizable casino activities, such as for example Poker, Blackjack and Roulette, along with several original minigames. These are: betting on fights in the Thorn, Tedding or the Gladiator Pit, or races between radroaches or molerats.
Life in post-apocalyptic is stressful enough, so it’s normal for the survivors to engage in Gambling to ease some nerves.
9. How the Bioshock Series Handled Gambling
Since we’re at the classics, we may as well discuss the Bioshock entries.
Bioshock has an odd relationship with Gambling.
Here’s what we mean.
Slot Machines are littered throughout Rapture’s entertainment venues in Bioshock 1 ) In the event that you played the overall game on a console, finding a $250 meant that you’d get the “Lucky Winner” achievement.
Now, making players spin endlessly on slots for a reward isn't the absolute most responsible move. We understand it as a game feature.
Things changed, however , with Bioshock 2. You no longer get any trophy for gambling profits. The Slot machines also are well hidden in an area at Siren Alley, well protected by Turrets.
Don’t worry. They’re on your side once activated. Consider them your casino bodyguards.
The Slots make a return in the Burial at Sea Episode 1 DLC. However , Elisabeth’s and the game’s attitude changes drastically.
Initially you, as Booker DeWitt, play them, your female counterpart advises you to “Best quit while you’re ahead. ”
Fun Fact: Slot Machines have a narrative element to them in Burial at Sea. They will get stuck on 7-7-☆. Remember, 77 may be the number on the winning ball that Booker picks at the Raffle Square in Columbia. Isn’t that neat?
10. Watch Dogs Series: High-Tier Hackers Gamble at Times Too
Remember the GTA clones built around being a highly skilled grey hat hacker?
You could. We here have some good memories of messing with the city’s traffic lights or hacking in to stranger’s phones in order to acquire some essential or at least amusing info.
But do you remember the gambling minigames the games had?
Watch Dogs had some basic Slots implemented. The principles were simple. You bet $5 and aspire to win.
Ubisoft probably had a turn of heart, as they changed this in Watch Dogs: Legion. You might no longer play slots. The machines were still present, but only as hackable objects.
Trust us! If you’re a hacking rebel on a tech rampage around the town, it’s a much better idea to hack Slots instead of play them straight.
11. Cyberpunk 2077: Casinos Are Present, Only They Aren’t
We now move to more recent video games, with the CD Projekt Red’s 2022 Cyberpunk 2077.
We realize how polarizing the discussions around this sci-fi AAA game tend to get. We also don’t want to increase the pile.
Note, however , that through the Tyger and Vulture Gig, you are tasked with entering Tyger Claws’ casino to get evidence on a dealer that has been stealing the enterprise.
The actual casino is barely well fleshed out. There are no gambling activities in the game right now.
12. Remember When Pokémon Games Had Slots?
Here’s an example you didn’t expect. Bear with us. We’ll explain:
The 1996 Red and Blue games from the series had something called the overall game Corner. It effectively was an on the web casino enabling you to wager virtual funds on slots.
Was it a good look on Nintendo’s part?
The company would say no . Consequently, in later iterations, such as for example Let’s GO Pikachu & Eevee, a casino building is present, nevertheless, you as a player cannot use any machines there.
Fun Fact: Let’s GO Pikachu & Eevee got a PEGI-7 rating, despite the casino’s portrayal. Nintendo surely knows how exactly to keep a squeaky-clean image.
Games that Make You Go: Is This Gambling?
You may think that simulating a gambling activity is all that video games can do.
The story is a bit more complex. Why you ask?
Some games employ design directions that are effectively gambling with some extra novelties.
These vary from a grey area functions supposed to enforce a compulsion loop to all-out masked wagering systems.
There was cause for caring about these dilemmas, as in some instances, these models can prove detrimental to some.
There are many examples from the Video Game Industry.
We’ll give you 61 games divided into 12 genre categories.
Let’s enumerate them:
Shoot your Way to Loot
Loot-shooters fall in the harmless category.
They put you in one or multiplayer environment. The only objectives are obtaining loot while eliminating other enemies rather than getting killed your self.
The stuff you loot generally offers some perks or better gear, letting you approach harder tasks, thus forming a compulsion loop.
Many of these examples don't have any explicit type of Gambling incorporated. But we can't disregard the random loot systems’ similarities with those of, say, Slots.
All things said, there are loot shooters that only employ the random stash tactic as a game title design choice.
Here are some examples:
13. Borderlands Series
The space western science fantasy FPS games created by Gearbox are the epitome of loot shooters.
This really is especially the case because the developers included the loot-centred functionality well before having a narrative for the games.
14. Shadow Warrior 2
Flying Wild Hogs’ 2016 sequel to the 2013 reboot of the 1997 original Shadow Warrior 2 has you double-wielding guns and cutting your enemies with an iconic katana.
While the game being nothing but endless enjoyment, resembling the arena shooters of old, we cannot attract the attention to the way the looting mechanic was one of many key factors for fun.
BioWare’s Anthem tried its best to differ from the Destiny games it unintentionally would be when compared with.
Although one area where they could have tried harder is the extensive looting system.
Props to them for trying to move away from this model, though.
The Dreaded Loot Box
Now we’re getting to the tricky part of video game design.
Simply put, loot boxes represent a virtual consumable you can redeem, with or without a real income, and that subsequently reward you with a random prize.
Some examples should spring to mind: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s crates, Team Fortress 2’s Mann Co. Supply crates, Hearthstone card pack.
For some, these signal video games’ doom; for the others, they’re just another functionality they need to avoid in the worst scenario.
For a tiny fraction, however , loot boxes represent the main reason they stick with a game title and the thing they spend large sums, possibly taking place a road of financial ruin.
You may ask what the big deal is with loot crates. Different stroke for different folks, right?
Well, it’s not that simple. Countless tests also show loot box mechanics to be the ‘entry drugs’ to a lot of damaging player methods, gambling addiction included.
What can you do, then?
We don’t counsel you fundamentally abstaining from using if not investing in loot boxes. We surely didn’t ourselves.
However, you should know which games have them and how they work in each case.
That’s why we provide our definitive list of games that have loot box mechanics.
Here you go:
Competitive Shooters: Between Skill and Chance
Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch has also been in hot water regarding unlicensed gambling claims.
Loot boxes have two uses for developers.
They’ll keep players that want to win them around.
For example , Overwatch rewards you loot boxes for levelling up, winning, and participating in events.
There’s a chance some players, or “whales, ” will spend good quality money on these, simply for the endorphin rush of opening them. Overwatch has them covered, as it offers boxes for real currency.
That’s why by offering loot boxes purchasable with real funds, developers are receiving close to an illegal kind of Gambling.
Here’s the motto:
It’s not about earning money. It’s about tying monetary spending to immediate enjoyment.
Maybe things will get better with Overwatch 2.
17. Rainbow Six Siege
We arrive at one of the greats among tactical shooters, Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege.
The overall game got a unique loot boxes, called “Outbreak Packs, ” in 2018. They arrived with a complete overhaul of the overall game and a small controversy regarding how new players would pay less. Additional Summer and Halloween-themed packs were added later.
Guidelines: Fortuitously, Rainbow Six Siege’s packs offer no duplicates, so you’re sure to get something new everytime.
18. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
CS: GO, a name eponymous with competitive gaming. Valve’s trailblazer game can be quickly from the infamous, but popular nevertheless, weapon cases.
These function by the classic loot box scheme: each case provides you with a random cosmetic item of varying rarity. They require an integral to open. You purchase keys with real-world money.
You can’t really ignore the way the case opening features a one-to-one resemblance to lucky wheel or slot games.
And neither did many regulating bodies. Belgium and Netherlands outlawed CS:GO cases altogether.
Fun Fact: The grey area occupied by CS: GO cases resulted in some weird measures. French gamers can ‘scan’ boxes and get yourself a peek at what it holds.
How does this work?
After you have a loot case, you merely scan it and see what’s inside. You nevertheless still need a vital, and the scanner has a price.
Cases naturally created a market for cosmetic items.
Can you manipulate the market using the scanner feature?
No. French gamers can’t buy loot boxes. They can only earn them by playing.
We can’t say if Valve’s new measures will change the gambling aspect of CS: GO cases. The overwhelming number of third-party case opening sites may indicate the contrary.
But that’s a story in itself.
19. Team Fortress 2
Valve’s other PvP classic also signalled the advent of this almost-gambling microtransaction method.
All of the signs were there. Team Fortress introduced its Mann Co. Supply Crates while moving to a free-to-play model.
Fun Fact: Valve even hired esteemed economist Yanis Varoufakis to research virtual economies. Can’t say they don’t care.
These also use some form of Key item and reveal a certain item usable for one of the overall game characters.
Valve surely fell in love with the model. And why not? It made them a lot of money.
Hat simulator or not, Team Fortress 2 upheld the trend and certainly profited from its crates.
Be aware: Belgium and Netherlands prohibit players from using crates.
Battle Royale – A Genre Synonymous with Loot Crates
20. Fortnite Battle Royale
Both a players’ favourite and an esports up-and-comer, Fortnite is a game from Epic Games.
The developers recognized the growing popularity of battle royale games. Consequently, they created Fortnite: Battle Royale as a game-mode, and later released it as a free-to-play standalone version.
And they hit the jackpot.
The fanbase grew to over 10 million players after only two weeks.
How did Epic Games capitalize?
Through microtransactions, of course. Including loot boxes.
Their process was more intricate. V-Bucks, the in-game currency, could be earned or bought directly. With your, you can get either cosmetic items or buy the battle pass.
The latter gives you customization rewards progressively.
You buy it, and you get some rewards after certain amounts of grinding.
We’re not done yet: there are two tiers, silver and gold, with different rewards.
Fortnite escaped illegal gambling allegations by implementing V-Bucks and disallowing items’ monetization.
Their underlying systems, however, are eerily similar.
21. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Finding its way back to fight royale, the iconic PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has looting running all the way through its veins.
Not only during battles but also outside, players can get many rewards for their play activity.
Locked crates were among these. Some you'd get as prizes for your performance, some are merely acquirable from the shop.
Some free crates only required Battle Points to open. They still had the gambling element, but with no real cost.
Nevertheless, you still need a key to open free crates. And keys cost real money.
Fun Fact: You will find limited edition crates that need no key nor anything else. You might see them as free spins without any wagering entailed.
22. Rules of Survival
Rules of Survival is a multiplayer battle royale game similar enough to others, like PUBG, to prompt a copyrights controversy.
And the influence shows.
We don’t mind the crates you loot during matches for random items.
But once you finish your gameplay and are rewarded some in-game credits, you are invited to buy Supply Boxes with random drops.
What can we say? The model is almost synonymous with battle royale games.
We couldn’t have expected it to lack from Rules of Survival.
23. Scarfall – Royal Combat
Moving to battle royale games arriving from the Indian market, XSQUADS’s Scarfall is a mobile title initially released in 2019.
The gameplay is virtually the same you would encounter in other games in the genre.
Scarfall is oversaturated with gamified mechanics.
Right off the bat, the game hits you with a random daily reward…
…and then with a first-day bonus.
And, over all this, you have your regular and premium supply crates.
You buy these with a currency solely obtainable with cash.
24. Apex Legends
Apex Legends is among the many free-to-play battle royale games on the market.
The game employs “Core Packages” that spawn around the map in marked spots.
You know how it works from there. They then provide three random items of varying value.
In 2019, Apex Legends faced its own controversy with the “Iron Crown” event.
Here’s how it went down:
- Several cosmetic items obtainable solely by buying crates were added to the game.
- The most valuable item could only be bought after collecting 24 other items.
- This raised its actual price to a ridiculous $170.
It’s not even the only instance where the game overstepped bounds of decency.
Apex packs only drop the Heirloom items at a one-in-100 rate.
Just for perspective:
The packs’ drop rate for Heirloom items is worse than almost all actual slot games.
How MOBAs made friends with Gambling
25. League of Legends
Among the early MOBA successes is amongst the main popularisers of gambling-like transaction practices.
League of Legends has no shortage of random drop systems.
Let’s go through them:
- Chests can be found in various forms, from Hextech to the Masterwork Chest. They require a key you could craft with key fragments.
- Mystery Tokens give you a fragment from a certain item. These are divided into 13 categories.
- Orbs contain a small amount of content, such as one item shard.
- Capsules have a limited collection of item fragments.
- Little Legend Eggs act like capsules for Little Legend skins.
- Behavioural rewards, such as loot for levelling, mastering champions, or acting honourably, are present.
These are all ruled by chance.
They also don’t give you an item, but rather “shards” you can use to craft some content.
Obviously, there's a game inside there somewhere. Still, you could easily view League of Legends as a framework for all those at Riot Games to extract funds from players, employing their shiny “carrots. ”
Certainly, the esports scene only facilitates this state.
26. DOTA 2
The parent of all subsequent MOBAs, DOTA 2, also proved to influence such games in adapting chance-based item drops.
Valve called it a treasure. It appeared as if a colourful and stylized series of vials that have been prepared to burst with cosmetic items.
You get it by simply playing the overall game. It initially was the case that you also required an integral to open the reward.
And keys costed real money. The system changed, however, and these were eliminated.
Whilst the model continues to be gambling conceptually, at least it doesn't request you to spend your funds onto it.
A similar system made a return in Artifact, the card game spinoff.
27. Heroes of the Storm
Blizzard’s crossover MOBA Heroes of The Storm used to have random drop crates buyable with real currency.
Not anymore, luckily!
Random item prizes remain available, even though the chests can be bought solely with in-game currency.
While still retaining the randomness specific to Gambling, we can not condemn such a thing in Heroes of the Storm’s model.
Paragon is a multiplayer online battle-arena game from Epic Games.
While originally starting as a pay-to-play game, its proceed to a free-to-play model coincided with loot crates’ introduction.
These can either be bought with in-game funds or won at random after matches.
To open a loot crate, you require a key that costs almost as much as the crate itself.
Microtransactions’ Negative Effects on FPSs
29. Star Wars: Battlefront II Beta
Here’s a good example of what the loot boxes can generate, besides revenue: backlash.
During the beta trials, EA made a decision to introduce a loot box monetization model. This came not merely with aesthetic perks but actual gameplay advantages, such as for instance unlocking certain characters.
This is the general scheme for bad loot box implementation:
- Take a game and limit players’ capability artificially.
- Offer a monetized ‘shortcut’ feature.
- Effectively turn that feature into a game of pure chance.
Star Wars Battlefront II ticked all the boxes.
We’re not necessarily making claims regarding design ethics.
It is the case that this system actively pushes players to wager real funds.
Bear in mind: Belgium had deemed loot boxes to be unlicensed Gambling amidst the Battlefront II controversy. Not just like, but actual illegal Gambling.
Eventually, EA expunged the loot box mechanics entirely from the game. That’s some sort of happy end.
30. Destiny 2
Bungie’s Destiny 2 slowly became synonymous with games-as-a-service.
The free-to-play multiplayer experience is constantly updated, with developers adding free content.
There’s one question you should always ask yourself: If it’s free, how do the developers make money?
Microtransactions are generally the correct answer.
Destiny 2 has its Bright engrams. Don’t let the pompous name fool you. They have just renamed loot crates.
Now, one way of sweeping bad methods under the rug is complexity. Bright Engrams provide Bright Dust that you could use to get better items.
You are able to obtain it through other means, but the game actively discourages it, whether it’s heavy grinding or dismantling legendary items.
31. Gears of War 4
Another classic hit by the microtransactions plague, Gears of War 4, had several random drop crates.
We don’t need to tell you how their addition damaged the game’s reputation.
If you’re a fan, you might already know.
Let’s go through some fans’ opinions:
Some fans drew attention to how only the Elite case gives you a good potential for getting in-game skins.
These cost about $5 or 3500 credits. This is essential since a single match rewards you with 75-100 credits and lasts for ten full minutes normally.
What does that mean for you?
Pull your calculator out!
Given these numbers, you would have to devote almost two hours to one case.
More so, you can generally consider it to be gaining the equivalent of $0,1428 at most from a match.
Which you will, of course, spend eventually on a case.
Playing Gears of War almost becomes a job in itself.
But players could do one thing to avoid turning the game into a chore: paying.
32. Halo 5: Guardians
It’s a shame that we have to add Halo to this list.
However, Halo 5: Guardians joined the trend with the addition of REQ Packs.
These were items you got with earned Requisition Points or with hard-earned cash.
These come in three flavours: Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
Here’s a gold one:
33. Call of Duty: Mobile
Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty series is yet another instance of triple-A games moving to a loot crate model.
Supply drops were introduced in Call of Duty: Higher level Warfare. The trend continued with other titles such as Black Ops 4 and WWII.
Now, Call of Duty: Mobile, the player distraction simulator, showcases a series of drop crates.
These are attainable by way of COD Point, an in-game currency.
COD: Mobile wears its similarities to gambling games on its sleeve. For example , the High roller Crate bears the picture of a spinning roulette with cards and dice flying around it.
The randomized system has changed lately. You can now see the rewarded items for every case. But the game incentivizes players to keep time for them whilst the items rotate with time.
34. Battlefield 4
DICE’s Battlefield 4 got its own Battlepacks with the Spring 2015 Patch.
Contrasting with previous franchise entries, you might no more unlock all weapon attachments by performing well in matches. Half of the customizable features became reserved for Battlepacks.
Optical attachments, which would directly affect your performance, required you to win them through one of the random cards dropped by the random loot feature.
EA had tried to distance themselves from the infamous model with Battlefield 5 and Anthem.
The memory of frustrating gameplay in Battlefield 4 remains, however.
Remember the free-to-play survival game that seems like DayZ and Minecraft exchanges some glances at some time?
Unturned was a popular title despite its simplicity. It was an easy activity to sink some hours in.
In later developments, Unturned got its own gamified features in the form of Mystery Boxes.
We were holding obtainable during playtime, although, as of 2015, you are able to only buy them from the Steam Community Market.
In a move surprising no one, they also required consumable Keys to open.
You initially could buy these from the Market, although this changed when users started artificially manipulating prices.
The same post-apocalypse, a different latitude.
Vigor is a Shoot’ n’ Loot multiplayer survival game emerge Norway. It had been initially released in 2018 by Bohemia Interactive.
You can assign a crate in the lobby before playing using the crate booster.
Once you enter the game, the drop will arrive in a designated area.
You then shoot your way to it, and if you’re lucky, you can claim the stuff inside it.
The enjoyment scheme in loot-shooters resembles a slot machine that you may wager on only one time you successfully defeat your enemies.
It essentially is gambling with extra steps.
Luckily, you do not bet real money in Vigor.
And we can understand the enjoyment of chance as a constituent element of gameplay.
Facepunch Studios’ Rust was a true punch in the face when it launched.
It took the multiplayer survival genre by storm.
No wonder, since it combined two popular games into one: the ragged survival gameplay of DayZ, along with Minecraft’s crafting.
You can blame it on the milieu it appeared in, but Rust also added loot crates.
These came in several tiers, among which the Gambling Box.
Perhaps this was the most appropriate name for the item – props to them for honesty.
Gambling boxes would drop skins of a certain monetary value.
And as simple as that, Gambling or at least wagering were tied to the whole of Rust’s gameplay.
Rust also has implemented a Workshop where cosmetic items are available… for purchase.
Each week, a rotation of skins became available, surely fueling some players’ fear of missing out.
This sealed the deal.
Despite virtual, Rust’s inner economy depended on players wagering in the hope of having some rare skin.
Would it have been better if all the skins were available to buy?
Yes, since it would lower their “pricing. ” But since it stands, Rust hence converted into a virtual gambling platform with a survival game attached.
Luckily, the Gambling boxes are history, but a rusty one at that.
38. Critical Ops
Critical Ops is a tactical FPS initially launched for mobile platforms.
It had a short-lived availability on PC via Facebook Gameroom. It was false anymore at the time of 2017.
C-OPS has its Weapon Cases – random drop items costing 200 credits. You'll also get one free case in the tutorial.
These come in two forms: standard and premium.
The latter costed a hefty 700 credits and had better rates for better-tier items.
MMOs: Where Loot Boxes Were Born and Thrived
MapleStory is a free-to-play side-scrolling MMORPG, where players spend their amount of time in the “Maple World, ” defeating monsters and levelling up their characters.
You may think that just by the name and theme, the game surely originated in Australia. That’s actually not true. MapleStory being created by the South Korean Wizet team.
The game has some intricate shop mechanics, even allowing players to open their own shops using an in-game permit.
Fun Fact: MapleStory is widely thought to be the first game to implement a loot-box system, the “Gachapon ticket. ” These had a cost of JP¥100 and might be properly used in booths around the world map.
40. Zhengtu Online
Another of the mechanic’s early adopters was ZT Online, a Chinese MMORPG.
Its reasoning was somewhat different. Here’s the story:
Most early ZT players would access the game from Internet cafes, where in fact the PCs would have the game already installed. This caused their sales to plummet.
The game’s development team Zhengtu Network then adopted loot boxes to be able to capitalize on its entire player base.
And it worked! The game’s monthly revenue sky-rocketed to over $15 million.
This opened the way for several other adopters.
41. Star Trek Online
“There is a way out of every box, a solution to every puzzle; it’s only a matter of finding it. ” – Jean-Luc Picard
We’re not certain that Captain Picard had loot boxes in mind when uttering these words.
He certainly might’ve, following their addition into Star Trek Online.
Essentially taking care of a free-to-play model, the overall game accommodated “Lock boxes” that dropped during normal gameplay but required a “Master Key” to open. And these costed you.
Remember this key system. You’ll see it later.
42. PlanetSide ARENA
We had high hopes for PlanetSide ARENA, we really did.
The scale of the combat in the PlanetSide series was, as the name suggests, planetary.
Sadly, as of January 2022, the servers are down because of low activity. Worse, the game will be immortalized on our list because of its loot crate addition.
Supply crates will be loaded into a control deck by a friendly faceless robot, and you would get three items. These would include both cosmetic and usable rewards.
43. Game of War: Fire Age
The Gift system of Game of War: Fire Age is a more unfortunate one.
It follows the typical rules for loot crates: Gifts have a random reward for players. You get these through events, monster-slaying or by direct purchase.
Fun Fact: You may get a special Gift for reasons such as the game being in maintenance.
Whilst the rules go, despite after the gambling model, these Presents are meant to incentivize you to play and return regularly.
What’s so bad about Game of War’s system?
Players are allowed to trade items with other players via the Gift Mode.
The game effectively creates an in-game market for its items.
Do items have monetary value?
Nearly. Their value remains in-game. But observe that you can sink in some real-world money to obtain them.
Bottom line, the situation is quite grey.
44. Rec Room
We’re entering VR territory with Rec Room.
Say you wish to evade your daily struggles by delving into a full virtual reality experience.
Then, personalizing your character is key.
Well, the only things you may not escape from in Rec Room are the loot boxes.
The Packages in the overall game provide you with a random cosmetic item you are able to wear. They truly are obtainable using tokens, and consequently, tokens are purchasable with real-world funds.
So, don’t strap your VR goggles too tight. You might need to take it off and look for your wallet.
45. Mobile Strike
Mobile strike is that one MMO strategy game with the app icon of Arnold Schwarzenegger looking at you while blasting a gun somewhere off-screen.
You surely know it, as Machine Zone employed a massive advertising campaign.
Fun Fact: Mobile Strike had some difficulties with UK’s Advertising Standards Authority for an ad featuring scantily clad women.
It’s feasible that the game will have some issues with the UKGC also, due to its Supply Crates.
You get these incrementally while playing.
They are the proverbial carrot that keeps you playing.
And of course, that Mobile Strike has a paid VIP option, with extra opportunities.
46. Guild Wars 2
While Guild Wars 2 has no loot boxes, it has something called “Ecto Gambling.”
What is that?
Basically, you can use globs of ectoplasm in order to obtain random items. Getting the globs is as easy as spending some in-game coins.
Additionally , Sandstorm card gambling and Mystic Forge gambling were within the overall game. These are just what they seem like. The latter uses an Ectoplasmic Stone to substitute a product in the mystic forge.
47. Lord of The Rings Online
Neither did the mythical times of Gandalf and company escape the scourge of loot boxes.
The 2011 MMORPG’s adoption of the “Lock Box” and key model already shows the model’s early viability for free-to-play video games.
Lord of the Rings Online would only be an indicator for the wider trend.
Role-Playing Games with Microtransactions: A Contradiction?
48. Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Let’s remain in Endor for a bit and mention Shadow of War while we’re at it.
Did you finish the storyline?
Maybe you did, and you know that there’s a second ending you need heavy grinding to achieve.
And perhaps you had most of the hardship but remember that Shadow of War had several loot boxes that will give you most of the allies you needed, with no work and an actual money fee.
Interestingly, the developers actually took steps to get rid of these features and removed them entirely by July 2018.
49. Mass Effect 3
The success attained by FIFA’s card pack system had an effect on another one of EA’s properties: Mass Effect 3.
The game effectively was the first full-price game to offer a loot box feature on its launch in 2012.
These purchasable packs were means to sidestep online grinding for uncommon gear.
The trend continued with Mass Effect: Andromeda implementing a similar system.
If you want to restore your hope in the gaming industry, we've just the example. Dauntless, a free-to-play RPG from epic games, launched in 2018.
It initially had loot boxes offering random cosmetic items.
Following the criticism outpour for the model, they just removed them.
As simple as that!
Customization still exists – players can buy cosmetics directly and don’t have to “spin the wheel” and hope for the very best.
Customer choice and good practices, that’s something novel!
Absolver, developed by Sloclap, is an example of a good randomized loot design.
You play the game and defeat some enemies. They in the course of time drop some random items, so there’s an element of chance there, but they're rewards for your skills.
No complaints about Absolver’s random drop system. Slow clap, indeed.
52. The Elder Scrolls: Blades
Bethesda’s free-to-play RPG, The Elder Scrolls: Blades, naturally has its own tinge of gamification.
After having played the Elder Scrolls series, you might think that Chests are just containers for depositing your stuff.
No, in Blades, you get Chests as quest rewards or buy them using Gems.
There are five types with different rewards: Wooden, Silver, Golden, Elder and Legendary Chests.
These are not gambling per se while remaining random in your mind. Their drops depend on your own character’s and town’s levels.
The Chest function approaches wagering, but we consider it to be harmless.
53. The Division
Ubisoft’s online RPG, The Division, had its issue with lack of content.
Still, the developers had the time to add a loot box mechanic.
This was, for many players, a death sentence for the game.
Moving to The Division 2, you will find signs that Ubisoft will kick the microtransaction model down a notch.
54. Fire Emblem Heroes
Fire Emblem Heroes, along side Animal Crossing, were the 2 Nintendo mobile games barred in Belgium for microtransactions resembling Gambling.
For players outside Belgium, we don’t say that you should entirely abstain from these titles.
Just keep in mind that, how many fans observed, you are playing a game of chance.
Casually Gambling: The Case of Casual Games
55. Zynga Games
You might remember Zynga, with its dog logo, if you’ve spent enough time on social-network platforms.
They’re the dev team behind Farmville, to help you thank them for the join requests you received on Facebook from friends and foes alike.
Take note: Besides countless mobile games, they’re also known for developing several slots and gambling apps. Just so you know where their hearts are in.
Their products have been one of the catalysts for many microtransaction models, loot boxes included.
56. Clicker Heroes
Need to restore your faith in gaming?
We’ll give you one reason.
Who would’ve thought that an idle game can be a good example for the industry at large?
Not us. But we were wrong.
Clicker Heroes is a free-to-play idle game with a fantasy theme. It had, like many more, had randomized drop systems that required real money. Consequently, as its developer observed, a small contingent of players spent thousands on these.
Games, in general, are addictive, clicker games, a lot more so. And adding loot boxes is only pouring gasoline on a raging fire.
Here’s the surprise: the developers actually decided to move away from the model for the sequel!
That’s commendable. Just for that, Clicker Heroes 2 should be checked out.
57. Candy Crush
A game that might get banned for its loot crates is Candy Crush.
The mobile game also had a lavish $150 bundle, among many others.
That’s when a Missouri Senator stepped in, with a bill meant to regulate such practices.
Now, we won’t await legislation to recommend not playing such games without being in the know regarding their methods.
58. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Who would’ve guessed that the inoffensive game like Animal Crossing would harbour dubious methods?
Well, it did. Fortune Cookies were a way of earning a random item using real-world funds.
When you could buy one for an astounding 5000 bells, it had been much easier to buy them for 50 Leaf Tickets apiece. The latter is a purchasable currency.
59. Coin Master
Now, while Coin Master has no proper loot boxes, it provides players with something similar.
It takes the player to spin a video slot before the game. You can potentially bypass this, but only by paying.
In a way, this is the reverse of the general scheme.
Instead of smuggling gambling into games, Coin Master forces players to gamble or pay to sidestep it.
It doesn’t mean that it’s much better. On the contrary.
Be honest, can you even tell the difference between Coin Master and actual slots?
Fun Fact: German satirist Jan Böhmermann discussed the overall game on his Tv program. This led to German Authorities looking at Coin Master’s methods. No blacklisting came out with this.
Card Games: They’re not Poker, They’re Still Gambling
Blizzard’s Hearthstone is the go-to game for collectible card game aficionados. In the event that you spend plenty of time duelling with other players in matches, you will certainly encounter card packs.
The packs come in standard and wild formats. You obtain each of them differently:
- You get standard packs either by competing in the Arena as rewards for completing certain quests or by recruiting a pal.
- You can get Wild format cards by crafting.
Both of the types are available for monetary purchase.
Fun Fact: Each expansion and event also was included with additional packs, such as for instance Goblins vs Gnomes, Grand Tournament, Knights of the Frozen Throne and Boomsday Project packs.
After you have your card packs, you open them and are rewarded with five cards with different drop rates.
Be Aware: Blizzard implemented a duplicate protection system for legendary cards and a triplicate system for the others. And thus you won’t get two of the same legendary, nor three of the same for any other.
61. Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
While we’re at card games, let’s talk about Witcher’s version.
Gwent first appeared in the Witcher series as a minigame, only later evolving in to a unique standalone game.
It already had seven expansions. Similar to Hearthstone, Gwent has its card kegs that award you five random drops.
These are obtainable during gameplay or purchasable with Ore from the shop.
Now, let us share a tale of how at least one player complained that Gwent’s Keg opening is less flashy in comparison with Hearthstone’s.
To make it clear, the flashy, crackling, celebratory effects associated with pack openings are meant to hook you up. They’re an integral part of any successful slot game, for example.
It’s as odd as is expected that players will find this lack of excitement detrimental to the game.
We, however, have to commend Gwent for reducing its gambling elements.
Most collectible cards, both in physical and virtual forms, are about discovering that rare card in one random pack.
Gwent does it. Hearthstone thrives from it. You’d only are expectant of that the WWII-themed Kards will join the party.
The 5-card packs Kards has are purchasable with Gold – the in-game currency, from the shop.
So that as generally may be the case, you can throw some dollars at the game to sidestep the Gold-accruing process.
What can we say?
You can’t expect a card game without its packs. They are essentially a game of chance.
Roguebook is a charming roguelike deck-building game produced by Abrakam. Its release date is set for May of 2022.
Packs really are a natural addition to entries in the card game genre, and naturally, Roguebook has random 5-card Packs.
Now, we need to specify that Roguebook is a procedurally generated game.
Randomization and, consequently, luck are inherent parts of the gameplay. Hence, it’s only expected for the Packs to show up and function as they do.
The developers have done their best to distance the feature from other more questionable practices.
Here’s some proof: You open your pack and get five cards of varying rarity. In the event that you don’t like the rarest card you've got, you’re able to reroll for the chance of having an even more suitable one.
We know that before being addictive, Gambling is fun.
And Roguebook tries to conserve the entertainment attained from luck-based games while minimizing resulting risks.
A+ for Abrakam. We’re waiting for Roguebook’s release.
64. Magic: The Gathering Arena
The tabletop classic makes a return in virtual form, under the name Magic: The Gathering Arena.
And, as it changes medium, it also adapts to its new home’s ills: Card Packs.
There are two types: regular and draft Packs.
You either earn them weekly, during events, or you may purchase them.
The game has two parallel currencies: Gold, which you earn, and Gems, which you buy with real cash.
And trust us, packs are a lot easier to procure with Gems:
|1 pack||1000 Gold.|
|3 packs||600 Gems.|
|6 Packs||1200 Gems.|
|15 Packs||3000 Gems.|
|45 Packs||9000 Gems.|
|90 Packs||18000 Gems|
At least draft packs have a 5000 Gold cost for three pieces.
Be Aware: Regular packs have a timer ensuring that you get rarer cards after opening a certain quantity of cards.
Sports Betting, Now in Virtual Form
The FIFA series was the door opener for triple-A games to indulge in loot box functionalities.
Beginning with FIFA 09, there was without any entry in the franchise that did not permit players to get card packs, both with real funds and in-game currency.
These reward you with a random assortment of football players available in the games.
With its 2022 entry chock-full with player card packs, FIFA shows no signs of hitting the brakes on the loot box functionality.
66. NBA Games
Sports games seem to be in love with loot boxes or packs, as they’re often called.
NBA titles show no shortage of purchasable items that give the player random drops.
In this instance, you get the MyTeam mode, where you assemble your own basketball team and keep maintaining a trading card collection.
Observe that you acquire the cards by different means, but one of the more essential ones for the game’s economy would be the random card packs.
67. PES Series
Like many games in its genre, PES provides a series of purchasable card packs with random rewards.
With similar entries in 2022, Konami shows no signs of renouncing the practice.
68. WWE 2K20
The wrestling world got its taste of gamification with WWE 2K20’s implementation of randomized drop packs.
You focus on a small number of attires, fight moves, and entrances. The rest you reach random from packs that you procure with VC.
While putting you in a cycle of grinding and hoping for the rewards you wish, WWE 2K20, fortunately, doesn’t simply take your actual funds.
VC cannot be bought with real cash.
69. Rocket League
Remaining at cars but shifting genres, we have Rocket League, released in 2015 by Psyonix.
We love this title; the overall game is addictive in itself. That’s why it didn’t help that the game used to have its own loot crates. These will be opened with keys or decryptors and reward the player with a random exclusive item.
By 2019, however, Psyonix decided to move away from the practice and removed the system altogether.
Fun Fact: Players who still had purchased keys before their retiring were offered 1000 Credits as compensation.
When Racing Games Drove Full Tilt for Loot Boxes
70. Forza Motorsport 7
Forza Motorsport 7, released in 2017 by Microsoft Studios, confusingly is the tenth installment in the series.
By all means, the game was a decent racing game, garnering generally favourable reviews.
The problems loot boxes bring, nevertheless , aren't only conceptual. James Davenport from PC GAMER said it most readily useful: Forza Motorsport 7’s poor loot box system nearly distracts from the game’s many pros.
Recommendations: The follow-up entry Forza Horizon 4 eradicated loot box features. Additionally, it managed to receive better reviews, so you may pick it rather than its predecessor.
71. Asphalt 9: Legends
The worst thing a speed-fuelled racing game, like Asphalt 9: Legends, could perhaps you have do is looking forward to any particular one car modification you will need.
Gameloft’s 2018 videogame joined the random reward bandwagon with Daily Car Loot and Class Specific Cups.
You’ll need the blueprints to advance in the overall game, even though the Daily rewards guarantee you get yourself a blueprint, the Class-Specific Cup ones are given randomly.
At least you must win these randomized packs via races.
Still, we can not imagine that race enthusiasts want to spend their time wagering and looking forward to the right blueprints.
72. Need for Speed Payback
Need for Speed is almost eponymous with the racing games at large.
Its success came early, with Hot Pursuit 2 perfecting the arcade racing fundamentals, and from there, the franchise only went up.
So that as is the case with most decade-spanning series, Dependence on Speed: Payback was marked by the advent of loot boxes in 2017.
Car customization is essential for NFS games.
And in Payback, customization depends on gamified random drop mechanics.
You will always grind your way through old races, again and again, to get all of the mods you require in later stages.
But it’s a lot easier to buy them via microtransactions – talking about bad paybacks.
Did microtransactions ruin Need for Speed?
No, not yet. The subsequent series entry Need for Speed Heat eliminated the random drop feature.
Fighting Games’ Struggles with Loot Boxes
73. Marvel: Conquest of Champions
In the 2014 fighting game Marvel: Conquest of Champions, you might buy sealed in-game items which contain characters from the extended comic book universe.
They’re called crystals but share all functionalities with other loot crate systems. They come in many flavours, from absolve to premium.
Unlocked characters and other perks actually provide you with a benefit in fights. Plus, you never know which you get.
Here’s an alliance crystal:
The crystals are designed to keep you time for the game, that’s sure, however, you could also end up purchasing them directly. At least they can’t be monetized, having only in-game value.
74. Street Fighter V
You wouldn’t think that fighter games are the place to find gambling-related practices.
And we also remember Street Fighter to be a straightforward deal.
That’s what made the franchise a classic.
Street Fighter V breaks the mould, however, with Fighting Chance.
The feature allows you to pay for Readings, which are equivalent to other loot boxes.
The random rewards are often cosmetic or extra content. In addition, you will get some consumables for Survival Mode.
Luckily, you can’t “wager” real money. Only Fight Money applies.
Fun Fact: Casino representation-wise, Street Fighter V has the High Roller Casino map, a reimagining of the Nevada stage from Street Fighter II.
75. Injustice 2
DC and Marvel may be competitors, but when it concerns loot-dropping models, they’re eager to shake hands.
Injustice 2 has had its fair share of criticism for random, and many times undesired received items.
Of course, a real-cash purchase was always an option.
You thought you bought a fighting game, but Injustice 2 packed a game of chance in there too.
Perhaps its name is fitting.
76. For Honor
For Honor caused some furor upon its appearance. Ubisoft surely cashed some large checks in as it was the best-selling game during the release week.
We won’t say that having Vikings fighting Samurais, medieval Knights, or legendary Chinese warriors is not fun.
We can’t ignore the game’s Scavenger Crates. You can get them as in-game rewards but buying them can be an ever-present option.
Although not being so honourable, we’ve seen worse random reward systems. For Honor gets a pass.
Gacha Games: Japan’s Version to Hidden Gambling
What are Gacha Games?
Named after Japanese toy vending machines, they are video games that implement a similar randomized drop mechanic.
Here’s how they work:
- Add a large number of characters or items to your game.
- Only make a few immediately available.
- Implement a slot-like way of having the remaining content randomly. A technique that you pay for game money or its real-world counterpart.
The system is almost the same for all entries, with only some slight promotional differences.
Gacha games came under scrutiny many times for covertly promoting Gambling to underage audiences.
We found 45 entries.
Find them in our nine-category list:
How Your Favourite Shonen Adopted Gacha in its Game
77. Bleach: Brave Souls
Tite Kibo’s manga series has struggled in the past. Its anime series got discontinued, and its volume sales had paid off.
In 2016, however, players were met with Bleach: Brave Souls, a free-to-play brawler.
And inside this charming 3D title, those at KLabGames slid in a Gacha mechanic.
Slid in is putting it nicely. The feature is the main method to get new characters.
Following the tutorial, you’ll have a total of two Shinigami. The rest you have to get.
How do you acquire other Soul Reapers?
One way would be from the Store. During your play, you collect matches.
Try to accumulate as many as possible. You’ll have to wager them for random character drops.
78. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Blazing
Let’s stay in Shonen territory with Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Blazing.
Launched in 2016, it was the franchise’s first entry for IOS/Android users.
Ultimate Ninja Blazing was a turn-based action RPG where you controlled all of the series’ memorable characters in strategic fights.
With six game-modes and a free-to-play model, the overall game easily reached 10 million downloads in one single year.
Repetitive gameplay, however, was an issue, an issue you could supersede by in-app purchases.
Additionally, Ultimate Ninja Blazing’s Summons were essentially random drop gambling-like features.
You would procure these using the Premium currency or with Friend Points.
Now, let’s hope that real-life friendships add up to significantly more than tokens for in-game slots. (or Sometimes you have to lose to be able to grow as Naruto would put it, but hopefully not your money on in-game slots)
79. One Piece Bounty Rush
Now for completing the Shonen triptych, we visit the One Piece universe with Bounty Rush.
The free-to-play mobile game is the lovechild of Bandai Namco, usually the one Piece series’ creator Eiichiro Oda, Toei Animation studio and Shueisha.
It had a rocky start, requiring a relaunch in 2022. Still, it proved successful since it reported over 20 million downloads in the same year.
You earn battles by holding at least three of the five treasures. These reward you with random items at the conclusion.
You can view it as a battle for slots type of game.
In addition , you acquire characters with the premium “Rainbow Diamonds” currency via Gacha type minigames.
80. One Piece Treasure Cruise
Treasure Cruise represents the previous mobile entry into the One Piece universe.
The overall game leaned more towards the RPG genre and had six-versus-six battles as opposed to four-versus-four.
Treasure Cruise would take you through the One Piece story arc presented in the manga.
Now for less stellar faculties, in addition, it featured over 1000 characters to summon and collect. This effectively helps it be one of the primary Gacha games out there.
The in-game store would also change chances for character drops at times, so comparing Treasure Cruise might be generous from the gambling fairness perspective.
Fun Fact: Treasure Cruise has been called an improved version of Brave Frontier.
81. Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle
Now we’re getting back again to classics. Bandai Namco has been the provider for Dragon Ball Z games for a while on multiple platforms.
And they made a return in mobile form with 2015’s Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle.
The game is not the greatest, rather leaning on the puzzle features more than the iconic battles.
But, if it’s the memorable cast you wanted to revisit, you’re going to be satisfied…
…partially, as most characters you have to unlock, either via grinding or by wagering on Summons.
One Summon takes five dragon stones and gives you a random character.
You either earn the dragon stones, or you purchase them from the Store.
Take note: 2017 came with unfair gambling charges levied against the game. Players suspected that the game developers manipulated the new character Kefla’s drop rates to attract more revenue from users.
Who would’ve thought that finding a character in Dokkan Battle may be tougher than collecting the dragon balls themselves?
Popular JRPG Franchises That Joined the Gacha Trend
82. Pokémon Masters EX
Pokémon GO might’ve taken the spotlight, but remember that 2019 came with the launch of DeNA’s Pokémon Masters EX.
The game was a more straightforward experience: you'll recruit Pokémon Trainers solely on the fictional island of Pasio and would play in three-on-three tournament battles.
But maybe it’s better that Pokémon Masters EX kept from virtual reality. Otherwise, it would’ve filled you’re your augmented reality with gambling games. Here’s what we mean.
When going to the Shop, you can spend some Gems, the game’s premium currency, and wager in the Sync Pair Scout feature in the hope of having a new Pokémon Master.
Bear in mind: Masters EX includes a pity system, where you accrue Scout Points for each Gacha gamble, and at some threshold, you can aquire any Master you desire. You'll still spend $25, however.
83. Kingdom Hearts Union X
Don’t think that it’s only Nintendo that felt the sting of gambling-like mechanics.
Square Enix had to take down many titles for the same reasons.
Kingdom Hearts Union X was one of them.
Even though we all know that the game has many fans that are responsible adults, we also understand the appeal Kingdom Hearts has towards children.
Especially with all the many Disney characters present in the game.
84. Mobius Final Fantasy
Another title blacklisted in some countries is Square Enix’s Mobius Final Fantasy.
It’s really a shame since the game acquired some popularity, especially with the AAA-level graphics.
I know, we’re shocked too.
85. Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia
Opera Omnia had also been blacklisted from certain virtual markets.
Note that, despite being a free-to-play mobile game, Opera Omnia had a bundle that went up to $37.
86. Final Fantasy All the Bravest
If you wish to accrue more than 30 heroes from the key series in Final Fantasy All of the Bravest, you must engage in Gacha gambling.
A wager for a unit costs 99¢, but at least you don’t get doubles.
87. Final Fantasy Brave Exuvius
Final Fantasy Brave Exuvius has a complex lottery-like mechanic for getting non-story units.
You essentially bet certain types of tickets on different-tier Summons.
War of the Visions has several Gacha-game-type items available at the Mog Shop.
Additionally, Visiore packages may be bought with real currency, too.
88. Shin Megami Tensei: Liberation Dx2
If you know Persona, you’re also familiar with the Megami Tensei universe at large.
But did you know about Liberation DX2?
Released in early 2018 for Japan, and in July of the same year for other including Australian markets, Liberation DX2 is a turn-based RPG developed jointly by Atlus and Sega.
Being a free-to-play game, it also features microtransactions, including the dreaded Gacha mechanics.
With an array of over 250 demons, you have more than enough units to recruit and summon.
Only that you have to do it via in-game Gambling.
Once you feel the lengthy and, may we mention, forced tutorial, promotional Gacha popups start harassing you.
The game looks nice. In some sense, it serves its purpose.
But if you’re a fan of the Megami Tensei franchise, the Gacha gambling-like additions will leave you with a sour taste in the mouth area.
89. Sword Art Online: Integral Factor
Sword Art had to get a game. Appropriately, Sword Art Online: Integrated Factor can be an MMORPG based on the series.
The story follows that of the anime. You try to clear 100 floors of the Aincrad and level up your character.
While not a direct copy of the in-universe Sword Art On the web VRMMO, the concept is sufficient to prompt interest.
Its Shop mechanics, but are no cause for joy. Here's where you may spend your oh-so limited Arcana Gems on Skill or Avatar Orders.
And what do you get?
A random drop.
Can you even call it a Shop if it works like a slot casino?
Turn-Based RPGs and Cash-Based Gacha Games
90. Raid: Shadow Legends
If you’ve spent plenty of time on the web, you surely got a glimpse of Raid: Shadow Legends’ polished ads.
Shadow Legends, a freemium game developed by the Israeli Plarium Games team, has you participating in turn-based battles in the fictive land of Teleria.
Just from the looks, you would think the game differs from the Gacha genre at large.
The art style obviously is a breath of air for the game type. And it is impressive in terms of mobile platforms.
The one aspect where Raid: Shadow Legends doesn’t break the mould is the Gacha mechanic.
How do you acquire heroes in Raid: Shadow Legends?
You guessed it: microtransactions. More specifically, you’ll wager purchasable in-game funds on Shards you utilize for summoning heroes.
There are four types: Mystery, Ancient, Void, and Sacred Shards.
Raid: Shadow Legends has its looks choosing it. But once you scrape beneath the surface, you will find the same covert gambling system.
91. Fate/Grand Order
Fate/Grand Order is a F2P mobile game published by Aniplex in 2017 to the option of Australian players.
Fun Fact: Fate/Grand Order surpassed both Fortnite and PUBG in download numbers.
It combines turn-based RPG mechanics with visual novel elements: you, the “Master, ” control six “Servants” in a card game-type fight.
And Servants you get via Gacha gambling.
You played NieR, and you might’ve even played Drakengard. But their designer, Yoko Taro, returns with SINoALICE, an RPG for cellular devices.
The idea behind it really is fun: you are in the Library, a spot where Characters from several stories try to revive their author to ensure that he may change their future.
How do they do it?
By fighting with Nightmares that consume stories.
Eventually, they will have to fight with each other to achieve their purpose.
Isn’t it enchanting? Yoko Taro outdid himself concept-wise, at least.
But there’s a whole other story when it comes to gameplay.
SINoALICE is excruciatingly grindy. And also you barely get the currency required for acquiring newer units.
Even worse so , since Characters are susceptible to the same randomized drop system, the genre is infamous for.
Additionally, several monthly Gacha have their own currency that stays locked to a specific month.
SINoALICE had the backing and notion of a great game. Sadly, here’s a case of yet another game being ruined by Gacha gambling.
93. Tokyo Afterschool Summoners
What did you do after school hours?
You most likely didn’t control fantasy beings called transients in battles across a fictional Tokyo. Well, this really is the plot of Housamo.
Tokyo Afterschool Summoners is a F2P role-playing game with turn-based mechanics. It launched in 2016 for mobile platforms.
Fun Fact: Tokyo Afterschool Summoners is probably the first commercially produced LGBT games from Japan. In addition, it was a trailblazer in utilizing gay manga artwork.
Housamo functions such as for instance a card game: each character features a card using its stats while also evolving and receiving new abilities.
But when it comes to obtaining new cards, get ready to gamble.
You use five Transient Stones for a random character.
Wagering 50 Stones at once via multi-roll mechanics increases your chances and guarantees you get a ☆4 companion.
There are also event Gachas that come with modified pull rates and even exclusive drops.
94. Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World: Lost in Memories
Sega joined the mobile Gacha bandwagon with Lost in Memories in 2022.
The turn-based JRPG essentially is the retelling of the Re: Zero − Starting Life in Another World anime series.
Summons is what Re:Zero calls its Gacha mechanic.
The system’s similar to numerous others: you bet your in-game currency for a random choice of new characters with varying drop chance.
Be Aware: Much like Merc Storia, break open a Japanese book before playing Re: Zero, as there’s no English version coming soon.
95. Granblue Fantasy
We have another entry from Cygames, in the form of the turn-based RPG Granblue Fantasy.
Same as previously, you wager tickets or crystals for random drops, including characters and items.
Be Aware: Adhering to a stream where a player attemptedto get Granblue Fantasy’s Andira by spending around $6000, the Japan Activity Association started imposing harsher restrictions on such games. Subsequently, players would get their desired character straight away after 300 draws.
96. Another Eden
Another Eden is an RPG developed and published by Wright Flyer Studios. It launched in 2017 in Japan and 2019 world wide.
The time-travelling adventure’s Encounters are essentially a Gacha variant.
97. Hortensia Saga
Hortensia Saga is f4Samurai and Sega’s joint project released in April 2015.
Fun Fact: Hortensia Saga also has running Manga and Anime series since 2022 and 2022, respectively.
The mobile F2P RPG, with its fantasy-themed characters and world, breaks the charm a bit using its Gacha-inspired random drop features.
98. Azur Lane
Azur Lane’s a side-scrolling shoot ’em up. It has you playing as anthropomorphic World War II warships, affectionately called ‘ship-girls’ in a co-op fight against AI enemies.
You are able to either build new ships or exchange medals for them. There’s a seven-ship rotation all the time. Normal ships change after 72 hours, while featured ones every 15 days.
Fun Fact: The game got both a manga adaptation in 2019 and an anime spinoff in 2018.
99. Kantai Collection
Kantai Collection is the second anthropomorphic warship-themed mobile game we talk about. We all know, it’s weird.
Kadokawa’s free-to-play web browser became an instant success following its 2013 launch.
A certain amount of its popularity must result from the actual fact that you’re not forced to pay real money to get the most out from the game.
Fun Fact: Kantai Collection sparked political debates due to its theme, with some praising its warlike unforgiving mechanics some calling it revisionist. You read it right: a game title about battleship-women caused political uproar.
Now, Kantai Collection has Gacha systems, but as we said, they’re not compulsory.
It would appear that the developers are playing the long game, hoping to break even from merchandise and other franchise works, including the spinoff manga, tabletop RPG and anime series.
100. Shachibato! President, It’s Time for Battle!
The F2P RPG, created by Kadokawa, Deluxe Games, and Preapp Partners, launched in 2019 in Japan for iOS and Android devices.
Fun Fact: An anime series adaptation created by C2C aired from April 5 to June 28, 2022.
You will be the president within an alternate universe, and also you recruit and train adventurers. After this you dispatch them to fight in to dungeons where they fight monsters and collect rewards.
And how would you acquire the adventurers?
Gacha, as always. You would wager funds for new random units.
Be Aware: The game was discontinued in 2022 but got a sequel in the shape of Maju War. The latter does not have any Gacha mechanics, developers choosing plain paid DLC.
101. Magia Record
The 2019 mobile RPG Magia Record is a spinoff of the 2011 anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magika.
Magia Record includes a “Fate Weave” mechanic where spent your in-game currency for a random character drop.
Virtual Gambling in Real-Time RPGs
102. Brave Frontier
Brave Frontier, a mobile RPG from A-Lim, launched in 2013.
You might recognize the gameplay model: you form teams with a friend, bring in some units, and defeat waves of enemies until you're able to the boss.
You’ll collect Brave Burst Crystals and Heart Crystals.
Fortunately, Brave Frontier 2 eliminated Gacha game reward mechanics.
103. Dragalia Lost
Nintendo published Dragalia Lost, an action JRPG for mobile platforms, in 2018.
Despite mixed reviews, it grossed over $100 million as of 2019.
We understand the appeal. It has crossovers with multiple successful series, like Fire Emblem, Mega Man and Monster Hunter. Additionally, it features both single and multiplayer features.
But just so you know, the game also implements Gacha-type systems in the form of Summon Showcases.
You get these with in-game currency. Currency you can also buy.
Recommendations: Dragalia Lost will generally reward you up to ten Gacha tickets with every major update. Plus, you earn some currency from daily rewards and grinding. You will get a five-star drop such as this, so that you don’t have to spend a dollar.
Okay, it's Gambling, we concede, but at least Dragalia Lost provides you with the opportunity of not losing a dollar during gameplay.
104. Action Taimanin
A free-to-play 3D RPG developed by Gremory Games, Action Taimanin, was published in 2019 in Japan.
The game has you fighting demons, retrieving bioweapons and getting skins via its Gacha mechanic.
105. Genshin Impact
You can unlock five additional characters by playing through the story missions of Genshin Impact.
If you want more than that, pull out your wallet.
Genshin Impact enables you to purchase several in-game monies with real funds. Monies which you wager on randomized Gacha systems.
Genshin Impact is a well-made game, by all means. It’s at the top of mobile games quality-wise.
But should we get over the gambling element that is usually tied to F2P games?
Many players certainly don’t. And similarly, we feel the feel the need to draw your awareness of it in the least.
106. Merc Storia
Merc Storia is a F2P fantasy RPG from Happy Elements, launched in 2014.
The game implemented a feature called Medal Exchange. Hence you do what the name says:
You exchange Medals, an in-game currency, for units via Medal or Monster Lotteries. Now that’s a bit on the nose.
Take note: Merc Storia doesn’t have an English patch yet. Therefore we recommend Australian players that are looking to check it out to brush up on some Japanese language basics.
Would it be Gambling just from the name?
No. But the underlying system clearly is Gambling.
107. White Cat Project
A free-to-play action RPG, the game launched in 2014 for iOS/Android devices.
Fun Fact: White Cat Project earned “Best Game of 2014”, “Best iPad Game” in the same year, as well as the “Excellence” Famitsu awards in 2014 and 2015.
White Cat Project has a lot opting for itself. You surely have something to pay your time on, from lore-filled single-player to co-op multiplayer and even a town-building mode.
Be sure that you won’t waste your time, however. The game doesn’t have a stamina system.
Getting new characters, though, is a struggle. In White Cat Project, you may spend Runes for the opportunity of a random character drop.
Maybe it had been the inception of Gacha systems, but White Cat Project’s implementation is one of the friendlier types. Good job, Colopl.
108. Identity V
Do you like Tim Burton’s films?
You then might want to check Identity V, an asymmetrical multiplayer horror game released in 2018 by NetEase Games.
You’ll be in detective Orpheus’s shoes, who’s trying to unravel murder mysteries within a manor.
Fun Fact: The overall game series has already established crossovers with Danganronpa, Persona, and The Promised Neverland universes, as well as with characters from the Edward Scissorhands film.
You are most likely already enchanted by the charming style. Unfortunately, only a few characters can be found at first.
You generally will unlock new ones by discovering Clues.
The Logic Path system also has you earning Clues and Essences by rolling dice. You get dice by winning matches.
Clues are straightforward, but Essences have a prize pool of their own.
So, after gambling with the dice feature, you wager once more in a Gacha-gambling type of function.
109. Princess Connect! Re:Dive
Cygames also brought us Princess Connect Re: Dive. The overall game initially launched in 2018, but Australian players could only get access to it at the time of January 2022.
The game is a real-time action JPRG where you proceed through various quests and activities, including PvP battles, with an event of up to five members.
As the rule goes for such titles, new characters are locked behind a random drop mechanic modelled after Gacha machines.
You additionally have the option of getting them through Memory Pieces specific to each unit, however it only works for nonexclusive characters.
Fortunately, as may be the case for Cygames titles, the machine, even though gamified, is not as predatory. You have Regular Gacha, that’s free.
For Premium Gacha, you play Jewels that you earn during playtime.
Focus Gacha is a variant for time-dependent offers.
The last are the Jumpstart Gacha. These are meant to upstart you.
They truly are readily available for seven days from starting the game and cost a real income, which you exchange in to Premium Jewels.
Jumpstart Gacha also have a pity system for ten draws.
110. Honkai Impact 3rd
In miHoYo’s Honkai Impact 3rd you control a team of three “Valkyries” in a fight against various enemies.
Each Valkyrie has its own set of abilities and traits, as well as balanced game roles.
You either craft new equipment or Stigmata, weapons and units or gamble on Gacha features.
111. The King of Fighters All Star
The King of Fighters All Star launched in 2018 in Japan and 2019 for the others, including Australian gamers.
The beat ’em up RPG from Netmarble Games allows you to pick any character from the KOF universe.
You will find instances, however , when certain characters are for sale to limited times. These are claimable solely through Summons, i. e., a Gacha gambling system.
The game is playable without it, however, so no issues here.
Rhythm Games: Dancing to the Beat of Gacha Drums
112. BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!
The BanG Dream! multimedia franchise added a video game to the flurry of related projects in 2017.
BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! is a rhythm game released for IOS and Android devices.
The game garners several Gacha offers: Main, Type, ★3+ Ticket Gacha, Special Set, Dream Festival, 4★ Fully guaranteed Gacha, and Miracle Ticket Gacha.
They all come with different tier character pools.
113. D4DJ Groovy Mix
As was the case with BanG Dream!, the D4Dj franchise got its free-to-play rhythm game in 2022 in Japan.
You’ll get to play it starting from 2022, as Bushiroad announced an English patch.
The game is chock full of gambling features.
Gacha mechanics will be the way you obtain new characters.
114. Love Live! School Idol Festival
LLSIF is a rhythm game from KLabGames for IOS and Android platforms. It appeared in 2013 in Japan while being available to Australian players beginning with 2014.
A spinoff All Stars game was also released in 2022.
These feature characters from the Love Live! multimedia project and have you sync circle tapping to the music.
You also form a nine-character team. The units are called members. You acquire them either by doing Live rounds or by “Student Scouting. ”
This function was effectively modelled after Gacha-gambling systems. So , School Idol Festival is nothing to idolize.
Be Aware: D4DJ also has two other gambling-related Events: Poker and Bingo.
Their rules are identical to their real-life counterparts, while the prizes are solely game items.
Social Network Games: Log-In to Pay-In
115. Dragon Collection
Although we’re at dragons and collections, let’s speak about Konami’s myspace and facebook game, Dragon Collection.
Fun Fact: The game’s success resulted in a Manga adaptation and an Anime series, and several sequels.
Released in 2010 on GREE, a Japanese social platform, Dragon Collection made history.
Essentially a card battler, you use cute and colourful characters in quests and events.
But how would you get more units?
Konami’s answer was wagering on Gacha-like Chests. The method was novel at the time.
You didn’t want to grind for the next Chest?
Don’t worry, Konami said, you can always purchase more.
The system worked, and it shows.
Some consider Dragon Collection to be among the trailblazers of the Gacha game genre. Whether it absolutely was or not, it surely changed industry of free-to-play mobile games.
116. Uma Musume Pretty Derby
Another Cygames entry, but who even keeps count?
Let’s call Uma Musume Pretty Derby a sports game. Its plot follows the story of horse girls: reborn human types of great racehorses.
A bit weird?
Story-wise, yes. But when it comes to Gacha mechanics, you encounter the same old story.
We don’t want to beat a dead horse, so here are the essentials.
There are many race girls you can acquire. To do so, you bet in-game funds and get a random drop.
A really basic mechanic for a really weird game.
Strategy Games: Not about Tactics Anymore
117. Girls’ Frontline
In MICA Games’ Girls’ Frontline, you procure T-Girls via Gacha mechanics.
You might obtain components and resources via post-battle drops. These afterward you employ in acquiring T-Girls through Gacha-gambling mechanics.
The levels of resources affect bet probabilities, but essentially, obtaining units remains a game title of chance.
118. Last Period
Synergy with Periods and fight the Spirals in the mobile RPG strategy game manufactured by Happy Elements K. K.
Last Period has a call function where you spend Luna Stones to summon and get new points.
It’s essentially a gambling game, although your chances for better drops you could raise through deals.
Puzzle Games: Is Gacha the Missing Jigsaw Piece?
119. Puzzle & Dragons
Now we’re treading dangerous ground.
If you’re a gambling aficionado, you may recognize Puzzle & Dragons’ description:
It is a match-three puzzle game, having you move and match orbs in a grid.
Even the interface is divided into an RPG-like setting and something resembling gambling games.
Just to add to the issue, Puzzles & Dragons also has Gacha features.
Arknights is a single-player puzzle game.
For each level, you get units for fighting the incoming enemies via a Gacha mechanic.
Luckily, you don’t always require rare-dropping characters to go through the game.
Additionally , the single-player system alleviates a few of the pressure to get newer and better units.
121. Monster Strike
Monster Strike can be an impressive mixture of puzzle-solving, strategy and co-op, a JRPG produced by XFLAG for mobile platforms.
Fun Fact: Monster Strike was created by Capcom designer Yoshiki Okamoto, the designer behind the classic Street Fighter II and the highest-grossing mobile app Puzzle & Dragons.
And you can be sure that Okamoto repacked the infamous Gacha system into his newer game.
Monster Strike has Hatchers. As you can figure, units’ hatch’ randomly through this feature.
Monster Strike’s Hatchers deserve a whole list for themselves. Their announcements likewise have a slots-on-steroids check out them.
They come in Normal, Exclusive or Collaboration variants.
The last category includes characters from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Street Fighter, YuYu Hakusho, among many others.
There are tons of characters to get in Monster Strike, many with a weight to their name.
And all obtainable via the Gacha game feature.
Kart Racing: A Different Type of Item Box
122. Mario Kart Tour
The classic, the legend, Mario Kart Tour, made an appearance in mobile form in 2019.
We love some arcade racing, especially since Nintendo ensures to add a whole lot of content in biweekly updates.
What we don’t of necessity enjoy is the gamified, edging-on Gambling, Gacha system the developer decided to add to an overall decent entry in the franchise.
And we’re not alone in this piece of criticism. We really are not.
Never mind the $4.99 subscription fee and all the time-locked content.
Now, you may get a few of your favourites from the in-game store, but Gacha remains the basis for new racers.
Don’t you hate it when Gambling gets shoved into your childhood favourite?
The One Special Case
123. The Case Opening Sites
Here’s an oddity you won’t find a lot of info on.
What are case opening sites?
These are online platforms that utilize loot box features from several games. Here’s the idea:
For a lot of esports games, cases are earnable through gameplay. However, you can also purchase them with funds.
These generally work like slots in themselves. For a few players, the overall game is a preamble because of this kind of Gambling. The Case opening sites represent an aggregator for these loot boxes.
What do case opening sites do?
They supply you with the option of directly wagering on opening random drop crates. For a monetary cost.
We usually do not pull at strings whenever we say why these websites seem to be modelled after slots’ muddled look, psychological triggers galore.
And it goes beyond. You would choose your case and wager real money for a drop.
But, you always get something in return, you might say.
True. However, most weapon skins have a value of a few cents.
Also, remember that the issue at hand is that these websites mimic gambling websites to a tee.
What Games do case opening sites use?
Many games could become the breeding ground for such platforms. It's due to their in-game mechanics. But case opening sites mainly base themselves around popular entries.
Here are some examples:
- CS: GO is the most popular choice one of the first games to get such spinoff sites. A few examples are CS: GO Live, Skin Club, Datdrop, or Hellcase.
- DOTA 2 has some case opening sites, like ForceDOTA or MyDOTA2, created around it. The device is comparable.
- Team Fortress 2, another of Valve’s properties, got the same treatment with websites like Unboxer. tf or dmarket. com.
- Rust has some entries, including dmarket.com.
Case opening site examples are countless since they’re ephemerally appearing on and disappearing off the internet.
Are case opening sites legal?
Scarcely. Loot boxes are not thought to be Gambling in most jurisdictions, and thus neither do these platforms. Consequently , they don’t require any regulation.
If you skim through the Terms and Conditions, you will find assurances that web sites are fair within their practices.
This need not be the case.
They do not offer the trustworthy warranties, despite resembling how casinos work. Our in-depth article should describe how a legitimate online gambling facility functions.
You can take their tendency to close after a short functioning time as proof of just that.
What are the dangers of these sites?
These websites require you to log in solely with your steam account. This is simply not a valid KYC measure at all.
That’s why players, especially underage ones, are at risk of having a taste for Gambling via these platforms.
You do not need to go to a brick-and-mortar casino to develop an addiction to chance-based games.
No real matter what its origin is, a gambling addiction proves destructive for you as well as your close ones’ lives.
That’s why you should learn how to recognize it in due time with the help of experts in the field.
What Info Should You Leave With?
Video games are growing up, people. We have to face it.
And as they do, they start making odd bedfellows with gambling practices.
What’s the risk?
It’s fair. Most of the entries we included are geared towards the +18 video game market.
Responsible adults can, obviously, do because they wish, as long as they truly are well-informed, despite them still being prone to negative consequences.
And maybe game purchases of virtual items directly or with a randomized reward system raise the gaming experience.
But let us not ignore one of the glaring issues of these business models.
Frankly, exposure to gaming should not introduce children to Gambling.
Are all games that do this automatically bad or dishonest?
No, we don’t declare that. But, as experts, we are able to bring our knowledge from the field of Gambling and let you know thoroughly regarding any questionable practice.
Are there better options?
It�s likely that that, as a responsible adult, you could exactly like real-money gaming, and that’s understandable.
But let’s be honest, in such a case we provide a better option in the form of top online casino gaming platforms. They are cream of the crop websites overlooked by regulatory authorities that prove the best-fitting model for such game spending.
A lot more than just respecting the Gambling legislation, these online casinos do not blur the lines with regards to the relationship between gaming and actual wagering.
Did we miss any possible entries?
We did our better to offer a definitive list. However , the gaming market is a fast-moving one, so chances are that new entries will be required.
That’s why we’ll keep updating the record. Make sure to check back in.
Games aren't outliers when it comes to Gambling. Many artforms dipped their toes in the niche, movies being truly a notable example.
Make sure to keep yourself informed and to keep on playing responsibly.
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