Loot boxes have been a big talking point for a while now, while some call it gambling, others like EA call them “surprise mechanics“. Let’s face it, loot boxes with random, rare rewards that you need to pay for is just another way to extract money from gamers, but it is every gamer’s choice if they want to open that wallet and get more paid loot boxes. That choice will become a bit easier, as the three big console makers, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, have agreed that by the end of 2020, developers and publishers must disclose odds of paid loot boxes in their games.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had an Inside the Game talk, where the Chief Counsel of Tech Policy for the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), Michael Warnecke, revealed that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have agreed that they will require the disclosure of odds from loot boxes for new games and even updates that introduce loot boxes to existing games.
The ESA then released a formal Press Release, explaining things in more detail:
This will, of course, not remove loot boxes from games, but it will give gamers a better chance of making an informed decision. Opening loot boxes can, in some cases, be fun (see our Immortal Treasure III opening) and I personally love the randomness of it all. Then again, I am old enough to gamble and I am not addicted to that feeling you get when you finally get that rare item.
The ESA continues to explain which major publishers have agreed to disclose the odds of paid loot boxes and yes, the list does include EA and Activision.
This is no doubt a great step in the right direction but the end of 2020 is still a long way off. Hopefully, even more publishers will jump on board with this initiative.
What do you think about the fact that the odds of paid loot boxes will start to be disclosed by big-name publishers? Let us know in the comment section below.