The United States' Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is holding an ongoing workshop today regarding loot boxes in video games. Today, we found out that the three major game console creators Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, and major video game publishers will require new games on their platforms to disclose rates of obtaining loot from loot boxes.
According to a press release published today by the Entertainment Software Association, they say:
The major console makers – Sony Interactive Entertainment, operator of the PlayStation platform, Microsoft, operator of Xbox and Windows, and Nintendo, operator of the Nintendo Switch gaming platform – 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.Publishers in the video game sphere also aim to make loot boxes more transparent by adding the probability of gaining items. These publishers include: Activision Blizzard, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Wizards of the Coast, as well as the console makers' own publishing. Per the press release, this new policy is expected to be met "no later than the end of 2020."
The workshop for loot boxes is ongoing, so expect more ideas or even policies to be enacted in the future. As of the time of this writing, the workshop is ongoing, so tune in if you are interested in a panel discussion on the topic of loot boxes. A link to "Inside the Game" can be found here.
Quick TakeThis is all good news across the board. Most of the major publishers are on board and will start to enact a more transparent look at what consumers can gain from loot boxes. I believe that loot boxes are an epidemic plaguing the wallets of many, and we've seen just how addicting it is. It is my hope that this discourages developers from incorporating loot boxes in the future, but that that's probably wishful thinking on my part.
What are your thoughts on these policies? Let us know in the comments below!