Not a fan of loot boxes in games? Or hate how earning things in them seem so random? That’s about to change soon. The big three hardware makers — Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo — have agreed to require publisher to disclose the loot box odds of winning items in their games.
During an Inside the Game talk by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), the ESA’s (Entertainment Software Association) Chief Counsel of Tech Policy, Michael Warnecke, disclosed how the big-name hardware makers (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo) have agreed to require the odds of earning items in loot boxes for new games and even updates of games that introduce loot boxes in games (hello, Call of Duty).
I’m pleased to announce this morning that Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have indicated to ESA a commitment to new platform policies with respect to the use of paid loot boxes in games that are developed for their platform. Specifically, this would apply to new games and game updates that add loot box features. And it would require the disclosure of the relative rarity or probabilities of obtaining randomized virtual items in games that are available on their platforms.
They went on to further explain why this is needed.
I think sometimes that’s the economy we’re dealing with is that appreciate sir being put on an industry to take on a role that may not be something they need to take on. disclosure is wonderful i think we all need to understand what it is that we’re buying. but it’s a matter of how do you that. it’s a matter of how clear it is and whether or not we’re being clear to the industry as a whole across the board. or if we’re trying to create clarity for one particular outline individual. i think we can’t do the latter. all we can do is basically put out disclosure that in as clear a sense as possible makes people understand what they’re getting. what they’re purchasing if they decide to do it because they love that game. that’s their right to do it. i don’t think that we as an industry needs to step into that parental role, though. because some of these people are not children. some of these people are our age. they’re spending a thousand dollars on a game that they love and they spend, this is their way of relaxing after a hard day’s work.
This is definitely a step in the right direction, given how some games have been exploiting loot boxes to entice gamers to buy them in order to gain an advantage in games. Will this mean the death of loot boxes in games? Probably not, but at least with the odds of winning/earning items laid out, gamers can make more educated purchasing decisions. These changes are being targeted in 2020, with multiple publishers already agreeing to abide by it including Electronic Arts and Activision.
Are you happy with this new change or should loot boxes be omitted out of games entirely?