“In behavioural psychology, that randomised system of reward is the one that creates the most addiction,” says Emil Hodzic, who runs the Video Game Addiction Treatment Clinic. “That’s the one that causes all the drama.”
This comment comes from an interview about microtransactions tied to random number generator (RNG) card packs, or what I call “pay-to-loot”. It’s a system that exists beyond genres and irrespective of the price of a game. It’s becoming more common, too. You can find it in Battlefield 1, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Gears of War 4, Dirty Bomb and Hearthstone, to name a handful of names that constantly arose while researching this piece.