Disclosure of Loot Box Odds Will Soon Be Required
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A press release published today by the ESA has disclosed that Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo will soon require all new games on their platforms to disclose the rates of getting items from loot boxes:

ESA Wrote:
The major console makers – Sony Interactive Entertainment, operator of the PlayStation platform, Microsoft, operator of Xbox and Windows, and Nintendo, operator of the Nintendo Switch gaming platform – are committing to new platform policies that will require paid loot boxes in games developed for their platforms to disclose information on the relative rarity or probability of obtaining randomized virtual items.
Publishers that have already agreed to backing this move are Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and Wizards of the Coast.

These new requirements are expected to be met no later than the end of 2020.

Source: Tech Raptor


This should be interesting to see play out. Anyone who puts their rates at something ridiculously low are going to instantly out themselves to everyone in a way that I hope would hurt the sales of their loot boxes or even their games. I doubt it will dissuade people who already pour far too much money into loot boxes, but at least when this takes effect non-whales can actually see solid evidence of how good of a deal a loot box really is.
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A press release published today by the ESA has disclosed that Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo will soon require all new games on their platforms to disclose the rates of getting items from loot boxes:

ESA Wrote:
The major console makers – Sony Interactive Entertainment, operator of the PlayStation platform, Microsoft, operator of Xbox and Windows, and Nintendo, operator of the Nintendo Switch gaming platform – are committing to new platform policies that will require paid loot boxes in games developed for their platforms to disclose information on the relative rarity or probability of obtaining randomized virtual items.
Publishers that have already agreed to backing this move are Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and Wizards of the Coast.

These new requirements are expected to be met no later than the end of 2020.

Source: Tech Raptor


This should be interesting to see play out. Anyone who puts their rates at something ridiculously low are going to instantly out themselves to everyone in a way that I hope would hurt the sales of their loot boxes or even their games. I doubt it will dissuade people who already pour far too much money into loot boxes, but at least when this takes effect non-whales can actually see solid evidence of how good of a deal a loot box really is.
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I'm surprised EA is in support of this. This is going to hurt them more than any other company.

Then again, if they didn't come out in support of this, it'd make them look even worse than they already do and that would just be another nail in the coffin.
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I'm surprised EA is in support of this. This is going to hurt them more than any other company.

Then again, if they didn't come out in support of this, it'd make them look even worse than they already do and that would just be another nail in the coffin.
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Moonface Offline
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EA likely only supports it because they don't want to see loot boxes outright banned, so best to support something that at least keeps them around. I won't be shocked if they do some stunt of "Pay more for this loot box and get better drop rates!" to find new ways to manipulate people with loot boxes. Instead of just letting people guess when they'll get something good and buying boxes over and over, now just make it more appealing to buy a more expensive one and fish for items that way. That or they'll make more common or rare items so that even if the rates are high it still takes a long time to actually get everything you want.

It's the ways publishers are going to find ways to work around this requirement that makes me highly curious of how it will all play out in the end. Although I think it should apply to games already released too, since publishers could otherwise just find out exactly when the date for the requirement is and try to get their loot boxes put out before that date so they don't have to disclose the rates.
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EA likely only supports it because they don't want to see loot boxes outright banned, so best to support something that at least keeps them around. I won't be shocked if they do some stunt of "Pay more for this loot box and get better drop rates!" to find new ways to manipulate people with loot boxes. Instead of just letting people guess when they'll get something good and buying boxes over and over, now just make it more appealing to buy a more expensive one and fish for items that way. That or they'll make more common or rare items so that even if the rates are high it still takes a long time to actually get everything you want.

It's the ways publishers are going to find ways to work around this requirement that makes me highly curious of how it will all play out in the end. Although I think it should apply to games already released too, since publishers could otherwise just find out exactly when the date for the requirement is and try to get their loot boxes put out before that date so they don't have to disclose the rates.
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I'm actually surprised this is happening. I thought that the US govmt would just ignore it like they do everything else.
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I'm actually surprised this is happening. I thought that the US govmt would just ignore it like they do everything else.
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I think even without the US government being involved this could have still went through. The ESA wants it, and so do the big three console makers, so publishers would pretty much have to go along with it or face not having their games outside of PC, which would be too much of a hit on profits to do.
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I think even without the US government being involved this could have still went through. The ESA wants it, and so do the big three console makers, so publishers would pretty much have to go along with it or face not having their games outside of PC, which would be too much of a hit on profits to do.
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Microtransactions should be included in the Disclosure impo.
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Microtransactions should be included in the Disclosure impo.
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1) You know exactly what you're getting from a micro-transaction, so they do not fall any where near what this policy change is talking about.

2) A large majority of games do say "in-game/in-app purchases" for micro-transactions already, so...
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1) You know exactly what you're getting from a micro-transaction, so they do not fall any where near what this policy change is talking about.

2) A large majority of games do say "in-game/in-app purchases" for micro-transactions already, so...
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Its also warned with the ESRB rating (though they can still dodge it by just adding the microtransactions later, CRASH TEAM RACING!). But yeah, there's no reason not to be cynical about this; the gaming industry is only "wanting" this because the heat got too high, and now they need to cover their asses. Given the years of abuse they did without a single care, I truly think they'd only stop if the government actually got involved. This shouldn't be the end; this should just be the beginning.
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Its also warned with the ESRB rating (though they can still dodge it by just adding the microtransactions later, CRASH TEAM RACING!). But yeah, there's no reason not to be cynical about this; the gaming industry is only "wanting" this because the heat got too high, and now they need to cover their asses. Given the years of abuse they did without a single care, I truly think they'd only stop if the government actually got involved. This shouldn't be the end; this should just be the beginning.
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While this is a step in the right direction for sure, I'm not really sure how useful knowing the drop rates will be. Most mobile games already display drop rates, but that doesn't stop people blowing their entire paycheck trying to pull a certain character or item. Similarly, one of the biggest issues with lootbox/MTX culture is that they're put into games that kids play. Yes, although games like Battlefront, Call of Duty etc aren't stated to be for children, the major audience is certainly going to be those of a younger age. In most cases this means that any attached credit cards on their account are going to be their parents'.

Would knowing the chances of getting something stop them from throwing money at it? I doubt it. The same thing applies to actual child-'friendly' games like Fortnite, which also includes a lootbox system you can buy with real money. What's really needed is to get rid of lootboxes, though at this point I know that's only going to happen if they're actually made illegal. Until that point, there will always be trouble with lootboxes.
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While this is a step in the right direction for sure, I'm not really sure how useful knowing the drop rates will be. Most mobile games already display drop rates, but that doesn't stop people blowing their entire paycheck trying to pull a certain character or item. Similarly, one of the biggest issues with lootbox/MTX culture is that they're put into games that kids play. Yes, although games like Battlefront, Call of Duty etc aren't stated to be for children, the major audience is certainly going to be those of a younger age. In most cases this means that any attached credit cards on their account are going to be their parents'.

Would knowing the chances of getting something stop them from throwing money at it? I doubt it. The same thing applies to actual child-'friendly' games like Fortnite, which also includes a lootbox system you can buy with real money. What's really needed is to get rid of lootboxes, though at this point I know that's only going to happen if they're actually made illegal. Until that point, there will always be trouble with lootboxes.
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(Aug 9th, 2019, 02:40 PM)Kazan X. Lemuris Wrote:
Yes, although games like Battlefront, Call of Duty etc aren't stated to be for children, the major audience is certainly going to be those of a younger age. In most cases this means that any attached credit cards on their account are going to be their parents'.

I'm not a supporter of loot boxes, but in a case like this it's 100% on the parents. Parents should not let their kids use an account that has  credit card attached to it. If they do and their kid blows a few hundred bucks, that's is completely their own fault.
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(Aug 9th, 2019, 02:40 PM)Kazan X. Lemuris Wrote:
Yes, although games like Battlefront, Call of Duty etc aren't stated to be for children, the major audience is certainly going to be those of a younger age. In most cases this means that any attached credit cards on their account are going to be their parents'.

I'm not a supporter of loot boxes, but in a case like this it's 100% on the parents. Parents should not let their kids use an account that has  credit card attached to it. If they do and their kid blows a few hundred bucks, that's is completely their own fault.
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(Aug 9th, 2019, 07:42 PM)Dragon Lord Wrote:
(Aug 9th, 2019, 02:40 PM)Kazan X. Lemuris Wrote:
Yes, although games like Battlefront, Call of Duty etc aren't stated to be for children, the major audience is certainly going to be those of a younger age. In most cases this means that any attached credit cards on their account are going to be their parents'.

I'm not a supporter of loot boxes, but in a case like this it's 100% on the parents. Parents should not let their kids use an account that has  credit card attached to it. If they do and their kid blows a few hundred bucks, that's is completely their own fault.
Yes, but the problem is that the industry (and the lawyers) don't look at it that way. They see it as the evils of gaming and the poor practices of exploitable functions as opposed to simply poor parenting and lack of awareness.

I actually had to deal with something like this with a co-worker recently, she was talking about how her son (six years old btw) spends most of his free time playing Fortnite, and she was extremely shocked when I pointed out that it's an online-only game. The fact she pays for an online subscription on the console and yet didn't monitor what he was doing on it baffled me. But I guess if he spends a few bucks of her cash she'll take note.
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(Aug 9th, 2019, 07:42 PM)Dragon Lord Wrote:
(Aug 9th, 2019, 02:40 PM)Kazan X. Lemuris Wrote:
Yes, although games like Battlefront, Call of Duty etc aren't stated to be for children, the major audience is certainly going to be those of a younger age. In most cases this means that any attached credit cards on their account are going to be their parents'.

I'm not a supporter of loot boxes, but in a case like this it's 100% on the parents. Parents should not let their kids use an account that has  credit card attached to it. If they do and their kid blows a few hundred bucks, that's is completely their own fault.
Yes, but the problem is that the industry (and the lawyers) don't look at it that way. They see it as the evils of gaming and the poor practices of exploitable functions as opposed to simply poor parenting and lack of awareness.

I actually had to deal with something like this with a co-worker recently, she was talking about how her son (six years old btw) spends most of his free time playing Fortnite, and she was extremely shocked when I pointed out that it's an online-only game. The fact she pays for an online subscription on the console and yet didn't monitor what he was doing on it baffled me. But I guess if he spends a few bucks of her cash she'll take note.
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My take is: that the only problem with blaming parents is that a lot of them aren't educated about what lootboxes are until it's too late. I don't see how you can blame someone who's clueless about it until their child empties out their bank account because they downloaded & played a free game. Parents aren't the problem, educating them about this is the problem. Usually; most parents don't care about what kind of games their kids are into, or what kind of video game console they want because they have their work to focus on & learning something new is too hard for them.
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My take is: that the only problem with blaming parents is that a lot of them aren't educated about what lootboxes are until it's too late. I don't see how you can blame someone who's clueless about it until their child empties out their bank account because they downloaded & played a free game. Parents aren't the problem, educating them about this is the problem. Usually; most parents don't care about what kind of games their kids are into, or what kind of video game console they want because they have their work to focus on & learning something new is too hard for them.
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You don't need to be too educated to know that you don't give your young kids, who do not understand how credit cards/finances work, access to your credit cards.

If I had a kid and gave them my credit card and told them to go wait in the candy store and they spent $300 on candy while I wasn't there, that's 100% my fault.

If an adult doesn't understand that, there is no amount of education that could possibly help them.
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You don't need to be too educated to know that you don't give your young kids, who do not understand how credit cards/finances work, access to your credit cards.

If I had a kid and gave them my credit card and told them to go wait in the candy store and they spent $300 on candy while I wasn't there, that's 100% my fault.

If an adult doesn't understand that, there is no amount of education that could possibly help them.
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Yeah, to add to that, I'm pretty certain we've gotten to an age where most parents these days should be somewhat wary of where they store their credit card information, ESPECIALLY knowing you hand your child whatever object has that information on it can be exploited somehow, even by complete accident. I could understand the concerns if this was 10 years ago when that kind of stuff was still new and burgeoning but it's 2019; people are even concerned for keeping your information even saved on your own browser.

If need be, perhaps have employees of game shops inform their patrons of the potential purchases that can be made in-game like they already do for mature rated games like Grand Theft Auto. I know other retailers (non-game centric) don't enforce the policy, but it's a start to get the knowledge even more wide-spread, because I know the GTA method actually works at dissuading parents from buying the game after learning about all the shit in it.
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Yeah, to add to that, I'm pretty certain we've gotten to an age where most parents these days should be somewhat wary of where they store their credit card information, ESPECIALLY knowing you hand your child whatever object has that information on it can be exploited somehow, even by complete accident. I could understand the concerns if this was 10 years ago when that kind of stuff was still new and burgeoning but it's 2019; people are even concerned for keeping your information even saved on your own browser.

If need be, perhaps have employees of game shops inform their patrons of the potential purchases that can be made in-game like they already do for mature rated games like Grand Theft Auto. I know other retailers (non-game centric) don't enforce the policy, but it's a start to get the knowledge even more wide-spread, because I know the GTA method actually works at dissuading parents from buying the game after learning about all the shit in it.
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(Aug 9th, 2019, 10:07 PM)King Atem Wrote:
My take is: that the only problem with blaming parents is that a lot of them aren't educated about what lootboxes are until it's too late. I don't see how you can blame someone who's clueless about it until their child empties out their bank account because they downloaded & played a free game. Parents aren't the problem, educating them about this is the problem. Usually; most parents don't care about what kind of games their kids are into, or what kind of video game console they want because they have their work to focus on & learning something new is too hard for them.
Nah. I don't care if the parents are clueless, that is in no way a problem caused by the industry itself. A lack of attention paid to children and their activities is entirely the fault of the parent. If you're not willing to take an interest and actually investigate what your kid is doing, that's on you. If you stick your kid in front of a console for eight hours a day because you can't be bothered to actually be a parent? That's not a lack of education. That's just shitty parenting. Same goes for parents buying their kids games like GTA and Call of Duty. The games aren't at fault, it's just poor parenting, and it's not as though the information is hard to come by.

If learning something new is too hard for a parent, well... toss your kids up for adoption because you're not fit to be a parent.
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(Aug 9th, 2019, 10:07 PM)King Atem Wrote:
My take is: that the only problem with blaming parents is that a lot of them aren't educated about what lootboxes are until it's too late. I don't see how you can blame someone who's clueless about it until their child empties out their bank account because they downloaded & played a free game. Parents aren't the problem, educating them about this is the problem. Usually; most parents don't care about what kind of games their kids are into, or what kind of video game console they want because they have their work to focus on & learning something new is too hard for them.
Nah. I don't care if the parents are clueless, that is in no way a problem caused by the industry itself. A lack of attention paid to children and their activities is entirely the fault of the parent. If you're not willing to take an interest and actually investigate what your kid is doing, that's on you. If you stick your kid in front of a console for eight hours a day because you can't be bothered to actually be a parent? That's not a lack of education. That's just shitty parenting. Same goes for parents buying their kids games like GTA and Call of Duty. The games aren't at fault, it's just poor parenting, and it's not as though the information is hard to come by.

If learning something new is too hard for a parent, well... toss your kids up for adoption because you're not fit to be a parent.
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