Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo will be required to ensure game developers disclose odds for paid loot boxes thanks to new rules set by E3 organiser and video game-related body the ESA (Entertainment Software Association). Often the content is hidden inside what's called a "loot box", so buyers don't know exactly which items they'll be getting when they purchase the box.
They went on to confirm that the change would also apply to game updates, should any update add new loot box features into a game. But under this imitative, other game firms will commit to having more odds disclosure in their upcoming games; these firms include Activision Blizzard, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros.
The association says several major publishers among its members are already being open about rarity or probability of obtaining in-game virtual items from purchased loot boxes, while others have agreed to follow suit "no later than the end of 2020".
What are your own thoughts about this? Which require disclosure of the loot box odds on all platforms.
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.
The exact timing of this disclosure requirement is "still being worked out", according to the ESA, but the companies hope to roll it out in 2020.
"We believe in transparency with customers and providing them information for making their purchase decisions", a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge.
This will apply to new games and updates to games going forward. These offers that are mostly purchased using real money have given diehard players great items be it weapons, skins, cosmetic rewards but have recently been raising eyebrows.
There have always been calls on the industry to take action on loot boxes, with several legal cases recently forcing the industries hand, as well as regulations now being imposed by several nations including Belgium and the Netherlands.
It looks like the tide is really starting to turn against loot boxes. And now, developer Psyonix has announced that its popular game Rocket League is removing its paid, randomized loot boxes as it follows its parent company Epic Games' footsteps who made a similar change to Fortnite earlier this year.