Loot box odds forced to be included in video games
As lawmakers apply pressure on the video game industry, publishers and console makers respond
A global debate exists regarding the status of loot boxes, the surprise containers in certain video games that can offer anything from character avatars and apparel to special weapons to give the character an advantage of his or her enemies. At the heart of the issue is whether or not the loot boxes, which are purchased without any knowledge of what they hold, are a form of gambling. Some say yes, some say no and the gaming community, in general, has been fighting to keep loot boxes from being policed. That fight has failed.
Regulators in the US have started to come down on console makers and publishers regarding the loot boxes and the companies have relented. In an effort to avoid forced regulations, many have voluntarily decided to make changes to the loot box system in order to keep it player-friendly. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft are now going to require disclosures on new and updated games that contain randomized loot boxes. Video game publishers, including Activision Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive, Bandai Namco and others, are going to take a similar approach with their games.
EA Games is also included in that group, marking a significant flip on its previous stance. The company has been adamantly opposed to anything that closely resembled loot box regulation and has even gone so far as to defy laws in some anti-loot box European countries, continuing to allow the offerings to exist. Now, it has relented and will try to make regulators happy.