Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo To Begin Disclosing Loot Box Odds By 2020

Sheri Evans
August 10, 2019

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has revealed that some of the largest game providers - Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony - will have to implement new policies under which they will be required to disclose all loot box odds for games offered on their platforms.

Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft and an array of other game publishers are committing to a new policy that loot box odds must now be disclosed going forward.

"Together, these publishers include Activision Blizzard, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros".

The ESA said on Wednesday that some members already disclose how probable it is to get precious in-game items from loot boxes and that many other major publishers will begin doing likewise by the end of next year.

What are your own thoughts about this? With the other recent news that Rocket League will be removing their loot crates in the near future too, perhaps the age of loot boxes in the gaming industry is ending.

When facing increased government scrutiny during the violent video games moral panic of the 90s, the ESA established the Entertainment Software Ratings Board to placate The Man.

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Warnecke continued: "This approach would also be compatible with the Apple and Google approach on the mobile platform".

While loot boxes typically don't contain anything that would provide an actual play advantage, their uncertainty is meant to keep players locked into a compulsion loop, much in the same way as the hypnotic effect of a slot machine. The new system does not have a launch date but should be implemented some time during 2020.

It goes without saying that making games display the odds of loot boxes mandatory is not good news for companies that use them.

Loot boxes are a contentious issue. Some countries consider loot boxes as a form of gambling or lottery and thus have banned games that incorporate them. "In addition, we're proud to offer robust family settings that offer further control over in-game purchasing".

Previously, the ESA has condemned the idea that loot boxes be seen as a form of gambling by the United States government, instead pushing for self-regulation within the games industry itself.

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