ESRB Doesn’t Consider Loot Boxes as a Form of Gambling

With games like Overwatch, Battlefield 1, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, and even the soon-tob-released games Call of Duty: WWII and Star Wars Battlefront II all featuring loot boxes of some kind, it’s safe to say that this latest gaming trend is here to stay. 

While some might like the idea of unlocking random stuff, it’s a pain in the neck for those looking for one specific item. With that in mind, there has been calls from the gaming enthusiast crowd for the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to classify loot crates, loot boxes and the sort as some form of gambling. But nope, not going to happen as the ESRB doesn’t see it as a form of gambling at all.

Here’s the statement an ESRB spokesperson sent to Kotaku

ESRB does not consider loot boxes to be gambling. While there’s an element of chance in these mechanics, the player is always guaranteed to receive in-game content (even if the player unfortunately receives something they don’t want). We think of it as a similar principle to collectible card games: Sometimes you’ll open a pack and get a brand new holographic card you’ve had your eye on for a while. But other times you’ll end up with a pack of cards you already have.

Additionally, the ESRB has mentioned that any game with real gambling involved will receive an “Adults Only” rating, though there’s also a classification of “Simulated Gambling” that most games featuring loot boxes aren’t part of too.

It’s fast becoming the reality that loot boxes aren’t all that it’s cracked up to be. With more and more gamers voicing their displeasure at how this little feature is now used as a microtransaction tool, expect more gamers to hate it in future games.

Speaking of loot boxes, check out the first-ever loot boxes you get in the Star Wars Battlefront II beta in this video.

Are you against loot boxes? Is there another alternative to this at all?

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