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The major console makers and EA will require loot box odds disclosures in games

Wait… even EA? Didn’t they call loot boxes ‘Surprise Mechanics’ not so long ago?

Rocket league loot boxes
Image: Niche Gamer

Today in Washington, DC, the FTC is having a panel on the digital scourge of loot boxes.

One surprising announcement from the panel is that all three major console makers, and Electronic Arts, are going to require games with loot boxes to disclose the odds of getting the loot.

Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and EA are going to require loot box odds to be shown

Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have indicated to the ESA a “commitment to new platform policies with respect to the use of paid loot boxes in games that are developed for their platforms.”

What that really means is that all new games or updates to existing games that add paid loot boxes will need to disclose the rarity and odds of obtaining any of the digital goods. If that sounds a whole lot like the disclosures used by the gambling industry, give yourself a cookie.

  • Regulators and lawmakers have long had issues with the murky way loot boxes were handled
  • The industry is targeting 2020 for the implementation of the policy
  • Many of the leading game publishers will voluntarily disclose the odds in their own games
  • Both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store require similar odds disclosures

Will this be a net benefit to the games industry? I’m not quite sure, classifying loot boxes as gambling with required disclosures is a good thing. It will bring regulation, and better informed consumers. On the other hand, showing the odds of every piece of loot will likely bring other issues, such as market manipulation in the games that allow trading.

Whatd you think? Glad to see companies stepping up to address loot boxes? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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