In yet another joint agreement between the three console giants; Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have planned for upcoming policies regarding loot boxes and the outcome for those who pay for in-game items through the use of real-time currency.
At a recent panel, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Electronic Software Association (ESA) hosted a workshop regarding the current status of loot boxes in the gaming market and the intention of the event was deemed towards how the business practice should be handled as legislation sought the activity as enabling gambling towards young children. According to a statement from the ESA, the three companies have formed a precaution regarding upcoming titles that will include loot boxes of any sort and to disclose the probability outcome when purchasing microtransactions.
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.
While the post does verify that the companies alongside publishers plan to proceed with the proposed policy to specify what the likeliness is when initiating a loot box, an aimed timeframe for when it will make full effect has been branded with an unspecified 2020 window. The ESA did continue on to clarify that some publishers have already revealed what the chances of receiving rare items through loot boxes are and that “other major publishers” have a deadline to implement the policy before 2021.
To name a few, publishers such as Activision, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and Wizards of the Coast. The policy has already been considered by other unnamed publishers and in the long run is projected to reach the PC market as well when more publishers adopt the upcoming policy.
In general, loot boxes have become quite the topic of discussion as we have already witness from proposed legislation and even the ESRB to require games in specifying if containing said microtransactions. Now this being the second instance the three major console companies have banded together towards bettering the industry this year, the likelihood of a more influenced outcome is expected to arrive following today.
Source: Electronic Software Association