ESA states the big 3 game publishers will disclose loot box odds as early as 2020
The Entertainment Software Association announced on Wednesday that the Big 3 console makers – Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft – will be disclosing the odds of video game loot boxes by 2020. According to the post itself:
“To further that effort, several video game industry leaders are announcing new initiatives to help consumers make informed choices about their purchases, including loot boxes. The major console makers – Sony Interactive Entertainment…, Microsoft…, and Nintendo… – 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. These required disclosures will also apply to game updates if the update adds new loot box features. The precise timing of this disclosure requirement is still being worked out, but the console makers are targeting 2020 for the implementation of the policy.”
Additionally, several major game publishers connected to the ESA will implement similar disclosure agreements in future titles that utilize loot boxes. These include, but are not limited to, “…Activision Blizzard, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts…, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and Wizards of the Coast.”
This is a big move by the ESA to create more transparency in regards to how it advertises loot boxes. Given their controversial status as gambling vehicles among gamers, this seems like a step in the right direction. iOS and Google both require such discretion on mobile games. Given that legislation is being presented to Congress regarding the regulation of in-game gambling features, as well as prominent news stories of children spending thousands of dollars on these types of purchases, this is likely a move designed to counter any arguments regarding the exploitative nature of loot boxes.
ESA source post: https://www.theesa.com/perspectives/video-game-industry-commitments-to-further-inform-consumer-purchases/
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