Heroes of the Storm is ditching paid loot boxes. Announced in yesterday’s patch notes for the latest update, starting March 25, players will no longer be able to use Gems, the game’s premium currency, to buy loot chests. Instead, they’ll have to either earn them by playing or spending currency earned in-game.
As someone who has played this game since the alpha (and still plays regularly), the poor monitization has always been one of the biggest indications that HotS wouldn’t be a big success. In this case, it wasn’t that the monetization attempts were shady or abusive, but rather the opposite. The game has always been too generous with it’s cosmetics, giving you little reason to want to spend actual money on them. In addition, in spite of years of fans asking for it, the marketplace has never allowed you to simply purchase the exact skin type and style that you want with real money. Some were locked to bundles or events, or locked into other forms of currency. It’s always been perplexing at how poorly all that was designed and managed, so it doesn’t surprise me that at this point they’re just giving up to possibly entice more players.