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Last Updated : Aug 09, 2019 04:49 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo force new games to disclose loot box odds

Activision Blizzard, Bethesda, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Bungie, Bandai Namco, Warner Bros and Wizards of the Coast have already agreed to disclose the odds of obtaining gear inside loot boxes.

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Loot boxes have become a growing trend in the video game industry. Most free-to-play titles employ them as a way for the developers to make money. Loot boxes are digital merchandise that can be purchased with cash or earned through progression to gain in-game rewards, the latter requiring significantly more time and effort.

Loot boxes have been a source of controversy in the past couple of months. Opening of loot boxes has often been associated with gambling because their rewards are randomised and they can be purchased with cash. While some jurisdictions have opted for a blanket ban, others are keeping a close eye on them.

However, during a hearing with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the three big console manufacturers took the first stand in increasing transparency in earning rewards through loot boxes. Players will soon be able to see the odds of obtaining a digital item before they purchase a loot box.

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Now, publishers of forthcoming PlayStation, Switch and Xbox games will have to reveal the odds of earning rare items. And, while some publishers already practice this approach, others have already agreed to make the disclosures in upcoming titles. Activision Blizzard, Bethesda, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Bungie, Bandai Namco, Warner Bros and Wizards of the Coast have already agreed to disclose the odds of obtaining gear inside loot boxes.

In a statement to Engadget, US Senator Maggie Hassan said, “I am encouraged that the video game industry has taken this important step forward to improve loot box transparency. I'll keep working to ensure that children are protected from the predatory and addictive effects of loot boxes in video games.”

It’s worth noting that the initiative doesn’t extend to other platforms. PC is still a major omission, but you can expect publishers to make changes for PC’s as well in the future.

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First Published on Aug 9, 2019 04:49 pm
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