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Apple tells developers to disclose loot box drop odds in their games

By midian182 ยท 5 replies
Dec 21, 2017
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  1. The controversy over loot boxes may have quietened down as of late, but that doesn’t mean the game industry, politicians, and gambling regulators have tuned their eyes away from the issue. The latest company to take a stance against the practice is Apple, which has just brought in new rules for apps that contain microtransactions.

    In its latest iOS developer guidelines, Apple writes that developers must clearly state what the chances are of someone receiving an item when using loot box mechanics in a game.

    "Apps offering 'loot boxes' or other mechanisms that provide randomized virtual items for purchase must disclose the odds of receiving each type of item to customers prior to purchase," states the guidelines.

    Most people who use these apps will probably know the chances of winning something rare are small, but seeing the actual percentage figure written down might be enough to stop them spending their money.

    Over in China, rules that developers must disclose drop rate odds are already in place for the majority of games. Now that Apple has adopted the policy for the apps in its store, other platforms, such as Google and even Steam, could eventually follow in Cupertino’s footsteps.

    Following the news that Belgium and Hawaii were looking to ban loot boxes, Hawaii House of Representatives Democrat Chris Lee released a video spelling out his plans to tackle the problem. He wants titles that include “gambling mechanisms,” which covers in-game purchases where you’re not guaranteed to get a specific item, banned from being sold to under 21s

    The Belgian Gaming Commission has concluded that loot boxes constitute a form of gambling, a statement echoed by an Australian gambling regulator.

    Permalink to story.

  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,237   +1,671

    It's not a bad idea, at least then you know that it is a static chance rate instead of something dynamic based on the player's habits.

    I can say for sure, that I am tired of all this loot box crap.
  3. bolski

    bolski TS Booster Posts: 74   +75

    But would you really trust what they say? lol. I wouldn't.

    Tired of these games stating "free to play". Yeah, up to a point. It's not necessarily false advertising but it IS misleading and they DO prey on certain individual's weakness to keep spending, hoping they'll get that prize that will push them over the top. Only to have it snatched away from them when a new update comes and makes what they spent obsolete.

    It needs to be pushed further that if you DO purchase something, it shouldn't give you an advantage over other players, and that it can become obsolete or weaker due to a new upgrade later on. It's ridiculous how these game companies rape people now.
    stewi0001 likes this.
  4. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,237   +1,671

    Nah I wouldn't trust them. However, it would make them more vulnerable to a lawsuit though if they do lie about it.
    Darth Shiv and BlueDrake like this.
  5. BlueDrake

    BlueDrake TS Evangelist Posts: 378   +113

    Pretty much the whole point. Apple wants to distance itself from being part of the blame, so when these games get in trouble for something it's literally "We set these regulations, it's on them to not lie about things."

    If this became widespread pretty quickly, you can see a lot of publishers ready to run for the hills. As people will be showing them, "See what you created, and what we want implemented in our games now!" only for publishers to run and hide. Trying anything to avoid this being enforced on games like Destiny 2, Overwatch, and any other game with a "loot container" style of system.

    They can just be calling it a crate, chest, etc and we're not going to let them escape it. I can imagine Valve is kinda uncertain, because they want to keep people buying keys after all. Blizzard clearly wants people to spend more, even with their whole integrated ecosystem between games. Only a matter of time before they step up and put this in place, not lie about things or have regulations force them to do it.
  6. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,972   +581

    Soft touch from Apple. Loot boxes in anything available to minors should be banned. In game purchases are fine but none of this gambling rubbish.

    Hopefully the EU smashes EA for this and many other governments too and the practice is aborted.

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