GameGorgon: Lootbox Gamble
Is having a Lootbox system in a game gambling? That is the question we tackle on today’s GameGorgon! With the ESRB and PEGI both giving their thoughts. but are they right? and if they are why?
Where it started
- After Star wars beta a lot of people were upset about the loot box system in game
- Dice came out to try and address these issues with this:
- There are many things you can earn in the game, including weapons, attachments, credits, Star Cards, Emotes, Outfits and Victory Poses.
- As a balance goal, we’re working towards having the most powerful items in the game only earnable via in-game achievements.
- Crates will include a mix of of Star Cards, Outfits, Emotes or Victory Poses.
- Players earn crates by completing challenges and other gameplay milestones, or by purchasing them with in-game credits or Crystals, our premium currency.
- If you get a duplicate Star Card in a crate, you will get crafting parts which you can then use to help upgrade the Star Card of your choice.
- And lastly, you have to earn the right to be able to upgrade Star Cards and unlock most Weapons. You can only upgrade or unlock them if you have reached a high enough rank, which is determined by playing the game.
- With Star Wars and Shadow of War adding look boxes into their games that aren’t just cosmetic but in fact game changing. A group went to the ESRB to complain that this is gambling.
- Game that are considered to be gambling are rated Adult Only (gaming death sentence)
- “While there’s an element of chance in these mechanics, the player is always guaranteed to receive in-game content. We think of it as a similar principle to collectible card games: Sometimes you’ll open a pack and get a brand new holographic card you’ve had your eye on for a while. But other times you’ll end up with a pack of cards you already have.”
- PEGI The Pan European Game Information stated:
- “In short, our approach is similar to that of ESRB. The main reason for this is that we cannot define what constitutes gambling. That is the responsibility of a national gambling commission. Our gambling content descriptor is given to games that simulate or teach gambling as it’s done in real life in casinos, racetracks, etc. If a gambling commission would state that loot boxes are a form of gambling, then we would have to adjust our criteria to that.”
- “By way of example, one commonly used method for players to acquire in-game items is through the purchase of keys from the games publisher to unlock ‘crates’, ‘cases’ or ‘bundles’ which contain an unknown quantity and value of in-game items as a prize. The payment of a stake (key) for the opportunity to win a prize (in-game items) determined (or presented as determined) at random bears a close resemblance, for instance, to the playing of a gaming machine. Where there are readily accessible opportunities to cash in or exchange those awarded in-game items for money or money’s worth those elements of the game are likely to be considered licensable gambling activities.” – Gambling commission
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