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, Microsoft and Nintendo – 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.
The initiatives were announced at a workshop hosted by the Federal Trade Commission in Washington on loot boxes. You can read more about the initiatives here.
Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said:
“We welcome the decision to provide players with clear information about the probability of receiving certain items from loot boxes. Transparently disclosing drop rates will help demystify loot boxes to parents, players and carers, empowering them to spend and play in a healthy responsible manner.
It also provides an indication of how seriously the industry takes its responsibility to players. As the history of our sector has shown, self-regulation is consistently the best way to tackle the challenges our innovative sector faces and this is yet another example of our sector’s progressive approach to player care.”