Microsoft, Nintendo, And Sony Demand Publishers Reveal Loot Box Drop Rates
The three console manufacturers, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, have launched a joint initiative to ease the pain of loot boxes. Any publisher who wants to include loot boxes in its games will need to disclose the different rates at which the boxes include rare items.
"The video game industry relies on creating and sustaining relationships with our players based on fun, but just as importantly on trust," The ESA said in a statement. "One of the hallmarks of our industry is that we don't just create entertainment value for our players, we listen to them.
"The major console makers [...] 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. These required disclosures will also apply to game updates, if the update adds new loot box features."
While we know this initiative is coming, the precise date of its implementation is still to be decided, though it is likely to be in 2020.
"Ensuring that our customers can make informed choices when they play our games is very important," Nintendo said in a statement it provided to Eurogamer. "As part of our ongoing efforts in this area, Nintendo will require disclosure of drop rates in Nintendo Switch games that offer randomised virtual items for purchase, such as loot boxes."
"We support industry efforts to disclose the probability of obtaining randomised virtual items, known as loot boxes, and are committed to providing consumers with this information for all games we produce and publish," Sony said in a statement provided to Eurogamer.
Loot boxes have been a growing thorn in the side of the game industry, both to players and publishers. For players, they've appeared to not only sell on more content to them in the games they've bought, but also ones that obscure what exactly it is they're buying. For publishers, the loot box mechanic has become so loaded in players' minds that simply including the system in games is enough to draw negative attention.
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Earlier this week we saw developer Psyonix announce that it is withdrawing loot boxes from Rocket League, replacing it with a direct purchase store - where you simply buy the cosmetic you want, instead of rolling the dice on winning it in a crate.
Featured Image Credit: EA