If you’re tired of ‘surprise mechanics’, you’ll be pleased to know that the biggest gaming hardware manufacturers – Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo – finally started to take matters seriously. According to a new announcement by ESA (Entertainment Software Association), all three major companies have agreed to require games with paid loot boxes to include the odds of gaining a specific loot.
ESA’s statement reads:
“To further that effort, several video game industry leaders are announcing new initiatives to help consumers make informed choices about their purchases, including loot boxes. 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. These required disclosures will also apply to game updates, if the update adds new loot box features. The precise timing of this disclosure requirement is still being worked out, but the console makers are targeting 2020 for the implementation of the policy.”
This means that sometime next year all games with paid loot boxes that refuse to comply with the new directive, won’t have any platform to go to, including Windows PC. However, it’s worth pointing out that ESA is operating only in the US, so it’s currently not very clear if the new policy will be implemented in other regions as well. But if it does, it may very well be the end of loot boxes as we know it.
According to ESA, several major publishers have already agreed to disclose the relative rarity or probability of obtaining virtual in-game items from purchased loot boxes. The list provided by ESA blog post includes Activision Blizzard, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and Wizards of the Coast.
So… no more blind purchases and gambling, right? RIGHT?!