Sunday, 15 December, 2019

Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony agree to show you loot box odds

Roulette wheel EnlargeYuki Shimazu Flickr
Cecil Davis | 08 August, 2019, 13:56

This announcement was part of a public workshop that discussed the issues in-game gambling presents and what can be done to improve the video game industry's approach to loot boxes.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced the news that these publishers have agreed to share winning odds in a format to be determined.

The Entertainment Software Association has finally done useful this week by announcing that Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft are all working together on policies surrounding loot boxes on their systems.

Currently, there's no official date set for when developers will have to outline loot box odds, but a target window of "2020" has been touted for Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo to implement the new rules.

Perhaps seeing the actual odds for these mechanics will dissuade some people from pumping cash into them in the hopes of getting the content they want. Other ESA members that have agreed to the new policy include Activision Blizzard (Overwatch, World of Warcraft), Bethesda (The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom), Bungie (Destiny 2), Electronic Arts (Madden), Take-Two Interactive (Red Dead Redemption 2, the forthcoming Borderlands 3), Ubisoft (Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed), Warner Brothers Interactive (Mortal Kombat), and Wizards of the Coast (Magic: The Gathering Arena). "And it would require the disclosure of the relative rarity or probabilities of obtaining randomized virtual items on their platforms".

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Will the probability being visible to players make a big difference?

Kings of the video game console world plan to require games hawking "loot boxes" to tell players how likely they are to get prized booty.

Sony and Microsoft have not yet responded to requests for comment; we'll update this story when we hear back. It will be required on Xbox, PlayStation and Switch console games.

What do you think of this change to loot boxes? "In addition, we're proud to offer robust family settings that offer further control over in-game purchasing".

"As well, numerous leading video game publishers of the Entertainment Software Association have decided that they are going to implement a similar approach at the publisher level to provide consumers this information and give them enhanced information to make purchase decisions".