Loot boxes were one of the hottest topics in the video game industry in 2018. This mechanic encourages players to spend money on a handful of items without knowing ahead of time what they will be. They've been a source of so much controversy that multiple national governments have stepped in to investigate or regulate them as gambling. And now one of the most popular games in the world has decided to do away with them.

Fortnite developer Epic Games announced today that their Save the World V-Buck Llamas, effectively loot boxes, will soon become "X-Ray Llamas." In other words, you'll be able to see what items they contain before buying them. This transition will take place with the upcoming v7.30 update. Here's Epic's breakdown of how it all works:

How will this work?

  1. Llamas prices remain the same, and llamas can still be earned through gameplay.
  2. The price doesn't change when the llama upgrades - you can see the upgrade before you purchase, and any item can come from the cheapest Llama. You can wait and find your favorite weapon in a 50 V-Buck llama, with no guessing!
  3. The items offered are based on your account in order to apply dupe prevention.
    • Dupe Prevention: Introduced in the v5.10 Patch, after the Llama has determined the item rarity and type of drop (Epic or Legendary Hero, Weapon, or Schematic) it will select an item from that category that is not already in your inventory or Collection Book. This applies to Epic, Legendary and Mythic Heroes, Epic and Legendary Schematics and Mythic Lead Survivors.
    • Example: This means that if the Llama picks Legendary (rarity) Shotgun (type), for example, it will give you a Legendary Shotgun you do not already have. If you have all of the legendary Shotguns, it will give you a duplicate Shotgun. It will not pick from another category.
  4. Specific items can still be directly purchased with earnable in-game resources.
  5. All the fun of opening Llamas, and only the items you want!

It's a great first step towards transparency, especially since Fortnite is played by millions around the world, many of them children. Hopefully, more developers take similar steps to avoid predatory monetization methods.

Source: Epic Games