Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony to Require Public Loot Box Odds Disclosure
Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have agreed to require games that feature paid loot boxes disclose the odds associated with each possible reward in those loot boxes.
The agreement, announced Wednesday by the EntertainmentSoftware Association, sees the three largest console manufacturers in the world band together against a practice many see as predatory and potentially dangerous.
Opponents of loot boxes claim the practice promotes gambling, especially among young users. Belgium made loot boxes illegal in April, while China has required loot box odds to be disclosed publicly.
The decision of the video game industry to self-regulate rather than wait for legislation recalls a similar move made in 1994, when the industry created the Entertainment Software Rating Board to monitor in-game content.
Also participating in the agreement are many prominent video game publishers, including Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Wizards of the Coast.
Console manufacturers are targeting 2020 for the changes, with some publishers hoping to add the features by the end of 2020. It's unclear whether games with pre-existing loot box systems such as Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will have to disclose the chances of receiving each item possibly within.
Photo courtesy of Blizzard