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Fieryfly

Loot Boxes

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Fieryfly   

I found a rather interesting news clip.. Loot Boxes..

 

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/04/video-game-loot-boxes-are-now-considered-criminal-gambling-in-belgium/

 

The Belgian Gaming Commission has determined that randomized loot boxes in at least three games count as "games of chance," and publishers could therefore be subject to fines and prison sentences under the country's gaming legislation.

A statement by Belgian Minister of Justice Koen Geens (machine translation) identifies loot boxes in Overwatch, FIFA 18, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive as meeting the criteria for that "game of chance" definition: i.e., "there is a game element [where] a bet can lead to profit or loss and chance has a role in the game." The Commission also looked at Star Wars: Battlefront II and determined that the recent changes EA made to the game means it "no longer technically forms a game of chance."

Beyond that simple definition, the Gaming Commission expressed concern over games that draw in players with an "emotional profit forecast" of randomized goods, where players "buy an advantage with real money without knowing what benefit it would be." The fact that these games don't disclose the odds of receiving specific in-game items is also worrisome, the Commission said.

The three games noted above must remove their loot boxes or be in criminal violation of the country's gaming legislation, Geens writes. That law carries penalties of up to €800,000 and five years in prison, which can be doubled if "minors are involved." But Geens says he wants to start a "dialogue" with loot box providers to "see who should take responsibility where."

"Paying loot boxes are not an innocent part of video games that present themselves as games of skill," Gaming Commission Director Peter Naessens added in a statement. "Players are tempted and misled, and none of the protective measures for gambling are applied."

Belgium was one of the first European countries to publicly turn its attention to loot boxes following the controversy surrounding Star Wars Battlefront II. The country launched its investigation of the practice back in November, when Geens said he was seeking to ban the practice throughout Europe.

Belgium's decision follows on a similar finding in the Netherlands, which specifically called out loot boxes in FIFA 18, Dota 2, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and Rocket League for illegal gambling activities. In the United States, legislators in Hawaii, Washington state, and the US Senate continue to look into loot box regulations, even as industry bodies like the Entertainment Software Rating Board downplay the need for such actions.

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swpz   

China was the first to take a stance on "loot boxes" when recently their MoC passed a law that requires all publishers to release actual % figures for the various items. For example, if applied to TT here, we'd probably see a number like 0.0000001% for an octagonal roll. The logic behind this is so that players make informed decisions as to whether or not to buy. It goes without saying that in China, many MMOs artificially raised their loot chances after this law to make it seem reasonable (many people on reddit have commented on the absurdity of 2-6% drop rates for ultra-rare items).

 

The EU seems to be following suit, there was a petition to Her Majesty's government recently that was answered; the gidst of it was that loot boxes were basically gambling and it targeted minors in particular. This petition got a reply and it was stated that the situation would be monitored and legislation would be introduced if required. Again, this is a pretty big change over in Europe. Finally we have the EU as a whole, Belgium's case as OP stated is likely only the first of many actions the EU as a bloc will undertake to regulate these online games and the fact that they literally run pseudo-casinos but without any of the actual regulations casinos would have. I believe Austria already has laws against games of chance that aren't limited to monetary exchange as it is.

 

The argument currently is that you don't win money from loot boxes, sure you do; you can sell it on third party sites for real money. You can sell the entire account for money, etc. Say a max soul in BNS? It's worth about 600 dollars on a third party site. That seems like money exchanged via loot to me. Not directly but indirectly, sort of like laundering.

 

It's a matter of time before the US follows suit once the EU gets underway. This is something that we should have here to be frankly. Maybe a WH petition is in order.

 

--

 

There was also this incident where a gamer sued a publisher for loot boxes wording having implied equal chance on all items and won because it was discovered that certain items were vastly less likely to occur.

 

edit:

 

Actually, there is already a push to do so.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/gamers-call-for-action-on-loot-boxes/9485856

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_akwfRuL4os

 

"IT'S A TRAP"

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1hQHZedRSE

 

It's actually in the process of being legislated... and Rep Lee and that meme.

 

https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/24/loot-boxes-gambling-legislation/

 

So yes, work is being done. NC's in for a wild ride sooner or later as they're much smaller than Blizzard or EA, but all the same.

 

 

In the future, we're probably looking at games that make money only through initial sales and subsequent subscription after this crackdown. Of course that actually leads us back to the time when gaming was great... MGGA?

Edited by swpz

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A law or regulation is needed cause there is nothing right now, at least transparency which publisher need to show the rates of the items inside the boxes. Companys can programm every bullshit inside like 0.01% on the "best" item and u cant nothing do against it.

Edited by Interlude

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HateMe   

This law will never apply to BNS for the below reasons:

 

1. any item that is in the loot boxes can be obtained in game by regular play (as opposed to the three mentioned games where boxes had exclusive items nowhere available asside the boxes)

2. You are clarly informed on what you get from each box and what is a chance to get.

 

Especially since almost all rng boxes contain cosmetic materials that have no influence on ones gaming experience and dont create an unbalance the laws do not apply here at all.

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Fufia   
6 hours ago, HateMe said:

This law will never apply to BNS for the below reasons:

 

1. any item that is in the loot boxes can be obtained in game by regular play (as opposed to the three mentioned games where boxes had exclusive items nowhere available asside the boxes)

2. You are clarly informed on what you get from each box and what is a chance to get.

 

Especially since almost all rng boxes contain cosmetic materials that have no influence on ones gaming experience and dont create an unbalance the laws do not apply here at all.

That's right this law probably never apply to BNS but you're wrong on the reason.

This law has to do with gambling nothing to with P2W try get some information you think governments are concerned about if a game is P2W or not lel

gambling is gambling no matter what excuses you try to get

And yes BNS is affected by this law.

 

But laws take time to be implemented and if just 1 country have this law is very easy for NCS to avoid problems.

And by the state of this game he dies before big countrys implement similar rules.

 

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HateMe   
17 hours ago, Fufia said:

That's right this law probably never apply to BNS but you're wrong on the reason.

This law has to do with gambling nothing to with P2W try get some information you think governments are concerned about if a game is P2W or not lel

gambling is gambling no matter what excuses you try to get

And yes BNS is affected by this law.

 

But laws take time to be implemented and if just 1 country have this law is very easy for NCS to avoid problems.

And by the state of this game he dies before big countrys implement similar rules.

 

Actually NO. The bns boxes are not gambling in terms of what that law understands.

That law sees as gambling boxes which provide the only way to advance in those 3 games they targeted, which was true as some items were only available in those boxes. Plus they did not inform what else you get from those boxes.

 

Regardless how you twist it the law belgium enforced does not apply in the slightest to bns loot boxes.

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Fufia   
43 minutes ago, HateMe said:

That law sees as gambling boxes which provide the only way to advance in those 3 games they targeted, which was true as some items were only available in those boxes. Plus they did not inform what else you get from those boxes

What are you talking?

Let's see Fifa you can get the coin in game you dont need pay to buy the best cards.

Overwatch just cosmetics.

CS  I'm not sure but think most is cosmetics.

 

Where did you get this idea that boxes in those 3 games provide the only way to advance?

And when you say (Plus they did not inform what else you get from those boxes) this is china that wants companies inform the percentages.

 

Like i say in the 1st post you mix things that have nothing to do.

Just look what are you saying! if it were true the law was 100% useless

Just pray for Germany or U.S do not apply these laws or BNS going to have a complicated days.

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Noalaa   

TL:DR - "I'm pissed because I spent too much money on RNG boxes and didn't get what I wanted. There MUST be a law against this...somewhere, if not there should be."

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Kyrrua   
Le 30/04/2018 à 10:46, HateMe a dit :

This law will never apply to BNS for the below reasons:

 

1. any item that is in the loot boxes can be obtained in game by regular play (as opposed to the three mentioned games where boxes had exclusive items nowhere available asside the boxes)

2. You are clarly informed on what you get from each box and what is a chance to get.

 

Especially since almost all rng boxes contain cosmetic materials that have no influence on ones gaming experience and dont create an unbalance the laws do not apply here at all.

You're saying a lot of nonsense and completely missed the point...

First berlgium government probably has tons of smart researchers compared to you who are just you.

 

1. "any item that is in the loot boxes can be obtained in game by regular play "

Dodge over 9000. We're talking about GAMBLING, not things that are accessible or not. And even without that, all I can say is that theres lot of things not accessible by farm in the game that you can only get in the shop aka outfit or bag amelioration. I bet there's, nothing you can say against that now.

 

2. "You are clarly informed on what you get from each box and what is a chance to get"

Yes I'm informed of the items I can get but I'm not informed on their chances to get them.

Dude again you completely avoid the point and this second argument adds nothing to the table. We're still talking about gambing, aka a game of chances where you put your money onto something that will either give you a similar reward of the same value, or less value or more value.

If you put 100 euros, and you get either 99 euros or 101 euros value as a random chance then it is gambling however you look at it: A game of chance with loss or gain.

It wouldn't be gambling if I directly buy the product without a chance to not have it like cosmetics in cash shop.

 

===> We're talking about the value, not the names of the items being informed to us.

 

But here you say we're clearly informed, and I can tell you yes OF COURSE we are informed on what product we put our money thanks god if I buy a bns loot boxes and I get a real life television or a real life gum from it without expecting it, it would seem weird isn't it ? Just to say its not the subject here or rng boxes would be scam even more than gambling...

If you enter a casino of course you are obviously informed you can win money and not real peanuts...

And as a player since beta day 1 I've never never never never never never never ever seen any display of percentage of chance of every single item you can get from rng boxes.

 

Unless you share alone with ncsoft some information 99.99% of the population does not ?

Stop dodging, give real arguments or don't if the discussion is too complicated for you.

 

 

Trove and rng boxes are gambling and should be removed if all the europe takes actions against that.

Materials and cosmetics from the cash shop are not gambling since directly buyable. But it makes bns still p2w tho (materials ofc, not outfits)

The last point is that if cosmetics are themselves gated behind rng boxes like Overwatch then it is gambling. Since you don't buy directly the outfit you want and you're forced to play a game of chance that can reward you with things you don't want such as another cosmetic or upgrade.

Edited by Kyrrua

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swpz   

I find people defending pseudo-casinos to be hilarious. You're defending a company that sees you as nothing but a source of money to be milked. Do you honestly think you get anything in return? It's as absurd as people defending FB's business model of selling the private data of minors to advertisers.

 

The definition of gambling is paying a monetary value in exchange for a chance to win a prize without certainty. RNG boxes, are thus, gambling. You pay money - to obtain a prize at an uncertain rate. This is not the same as purchasing something for a flat rate.

 

As for the poster who said % rates are visible? Oh really? Do enlighten us where on any RNG box might one find the rates? Let's just say the pet bag, hmm... I seem to see %, % and %; no actual numbers. In theory (this has actually been done), one could buy 10 bags, then if you don't get what you want, you can sue for misleading % rates as it's not released and the identical figure implies equal chance on all.

 

Anyways I did some pretty extensive research and there is indeed a movement to regulate these online games. Gaming in the last 10 years has turned from producing creative works into predatory business practices everywhere. It's sickening and eventually will be put under control. The EU is onto it, and the US will follow suit.

 

If we want to hasten the process; simply write to your Rep and have him take action - like maybe have him/her work with Lee (D-Hawaii).

Edited by swpz

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Fiana   

well, without trove, they will lose way to make money.. and all publisher mmorg will have to make their game into subscription game

i never pay real money in this game, so i don't really understand the problem,
well.. if loot box it's a problem then we should fix it for better game environtment

the problem with gambling that i know is addiction, to the point people spend million of dollar in casino, but it's hard to believe someone goes crazy over some cosmetic or some ingame item

Edited by Fiana

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Fufia   

Fiana

26 minutes ago, Fiana said:

but it's hard to believe someone goes crazy over some cosmetic or some ingame item

Believe ppl are crazy and ppl with money are crazy and dumb.

addiction in gambling is really a problame and is sad see companies use this to make lots of money.

All this F2P games are made in a way to make you spend money and addicted to you.

 

here i help you to believe :)

or make just a small search and see how ppl are crazy.

 

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swpz   
10 hours ago, Fiana said:

well, without trove, they will lose way to make money.. and all publisher mmorg will have to make their game into subscription game

i never pay real money in this game, so i don't really understand the problem,
well.. if loot box it's a problem then we should fix it for better game environtment

the problem with gambling that i know is addiction, to the point people spend million of dollar in casino, but it's hard to believe someone goes crazy over some cosmetic or some ingame item

The problem is the lack of transparency. When you enter a casino, they are required by law to tell you exactly what your odds are so you make an informed decision of whether or not to play. You also cannot be a minor. In these games, minors play and you don't know a thing. No one knows exactly what the percentage of getting an octagonal gem is, no one knows whether or not children are in fact being targeted by practices ripped straight from the casino floors.

 

The term "12 year old with mommy's credit card" didn't come from nowhere.

 

Games did fine 10 years ago without resorting to predatory practices; you have EA executives literally admitting on the record that part of their strategy is to cause the players' grief to sell them the cure - that's pure insanity. It's even worse that such is tolerated (well maybe not, since it was EA that broke the camel's back and started this entire movement to regulate online gaming).

 

Psychologically speaking, it's the same no matter where. I said "ripped straight from the casino floors" because these are exactly the tactics casinos use to get people to gamble. All of it is orientated towards human greed, that translates into sense of "a missed opportunity" and then finally into addiction and a sense of "hope and implied belief that one can win" once they start. Exploiting peoples behaviors that most do not have full control over is pretty much the definition of predatory business practices. This is what's happening in the modern gaming world where as 10+ years ago, gaming was pretty good.

 

This entire idea of "pay to win" did not exist 10 years ago. All games were subscription based and that's how they made money. It doesn't take that much money to develop a game by the way, check out "Pavlov VR" and the price tag - tell me how this game can make money if development truly costs so much. It doesn't. It's not the developers being paid, it's the shareholders. CS is another good example; that game has historically been far cheaper than other shooter games.

Edited by swpz

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HateMe   

Figured id reply.

 

Netherland has deemed Lootboxes on CS:GO and Dota 2 against the law. However....the Dutch game regulatory also stated clearly in terms of the loot boxes:

 

"Loot boxes contravene the law if the in-game goods from the loot boxes are transferable. Loot boxes do not contravene the law if the in-game goods from the loot boxes are not transferable."

 

so in other word, unless the items you get from the boxes are character / account bound they are not illegal and dont fall under gambling.

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Oh, now the changes to our rewards make sense. We have to cover for NCsoft's losses in europe, so they make most mats untradeable. They're doing it while they still can.

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Granger   
vor 12 Stunden schrieb HateMe:

 

"Loot boxes contravene the law if the in-game goods from the loot boxes are transferable. Loot boxes do not contravene the law if the in-game goods from the loot boxes are not transferable."

B-but that essentially neuters the law... most of such loot crates already dont allow you to trade your drops, just exchange your dupes into pity tokens...

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Puffys   

BnS is full of RNG gambling, transmuting premium transformation stones is probably the most known one.

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