China Hates Blind Loot Boxes, Rules They Should Be Itemized

blueturtle13blueturtle13 Valve Corporation Member LegendaryPosts: 9,591
With the popularity of online games in China, rules and regulations are part of the territory. But the country has taken things a step further when it comes to blind loot boxes, wanting publishers to come clean with what could be in the box and hard the items are to get.

The new rules, approved by China's Ministry of Culture (and translated by NeoGAF's chillybright), requires publishers to list all details for blind loot boxes, such as item, properties, quantity and probability of being in the box. So if a box has a loot table of six items, all must be itemized with what they do, how many could be in the box and what the percentage chance of drop is.

http://www.shacknews.com/article/99756/china-hates-blind-loot-boxes-rules-they-should-be-itemized

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Comments

  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade KingsmouthMember RarePosts: 3,789
    Sounds like a good ruling to me. Some of these things are shady as hell.

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  • GladDogGladDog Pottstown, PAMember RarePosts: 786
    Actually I like this idea, too bad it has to be legislated by the government.  Any of us familiar with loot boxes know you have a better chance of getting a four figure winner in the lottery than getting that uber leet mega scarf out of a loot box.  If people actually SEE that their chances of getting the uber leet mega scarf is .001%, they may change their minds about buying the damn box in the first place!





  • DakeruDakeru Member EpicPosts: 3,014

    GladDog said:

    If people actually SEE that their chances of getting the uber leet mega scarf is .001%, they may change their minds about buying the damn box in the first place!


    I wouldn't count on that.

    But yes this is a step in the right direction. Now let's hope EU and NA will come up with similar regulations.
  • centkincentkin Asbury, NJMember UncommonPosts: 1,171
    Thing is sometimes the odds are more complex than that...  The odds of a scarf might be .001% + .0001% per box that did not contain one.  Or there might be 4 rare items in the box (one of them that scarf) but the percentages could reset if any of the 4 rare items are picked. 

    This sounds like it removes the ability to make boxes like that. 

    On the most harmless version, say a box had a 2.5% chance + 1% per fail to give item y.

    I do like the idea of knowing though that it is practically impossible to get a scarf in your case tho.
  • Tiamat64Tiamat64 Member UncommonPosts: 541
    Weird, I thought this was already the case in China.  Well, good for them.  Wish we'd get the same laws over here for those shady gambling-yet-not-legally-legislated-like-gambling addict-abusing things.
  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKMember LegendaryPosts: 15,713

    Dakeru said:



    GladDog said:


    If people actually SEE that their chances of getting the uber leet mega scarf is .001%, they may change their minds about buying the damn box in the first place!




    I wouldn't count on that.

    But yes this is a step in the right direction. Now let's hope EU and NA will come up with similar regulations.



    Chance of this happening in NA - zero, EU maybe 5%
  • CrazKanukCrazKanuk Elmira, ONMember EpicPosts: 5,327

    centkin said:

    Thing is sometimes the odds are more complex than that...  The odds of a scarf might be .001% + .0001% per box that did not contain one.  Or there might be 4 rare items in the box (one of them that scarf) but the percentages could reset if any of the 4 rare items are picked. 

    This sounds like it removes the ability to make boxes like that. 

    On the most harmless version, say a box had a 2.5% chance + 1% per fail to give item y.

    I do like the idea of knowing though that it is practically impossible to get a scarf in your case tho.



    I agree. A couple points I wanted to add, though. 

    First, this doesn't actually fix anything, right? It essentially just tells the company that they need to publicize the drop rates for their loot boxes, something that's probably common knowledge to anyone who is spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on these boxes. 

    Secondly, publishing drop rates could actually cause MORE problems than it solves. Why? Because humans have many cognitive biases. For instance, if I flip a coin 10 times and it's heads every time, is it more likely to be tails on the next flip? So working with known percentages can sometimes lead someone who continue to buy, opposed to discourage them from buying. 

    Let's say that the drop rate was 1%. Awesome! So I'm guaranteed to get it if I buy 100 boxes! Well...yeah... no. However, by publishing this drop rate, you are essentially baiting me into spending up to 100 boxes and, then, even more because after 100 boxes, "It will have to drop soon." Meanwhile, if the percentages are unpublished, maybe I just give up after 10.

    In the end, it's still random loot boxes and the ruling does little to actually solve the real problems with them. 


    Crazkanuk

    ----------------
    Azarelos - 90 Hunter - Emerald
    Durnzig - 90 Paladin - Emerald
    Demonicron - 90 Death Knight - Emerald Dream - US
    Tankinpain - 90 Monk - Azjol-Nerub - US
    Brindell - 90 Warrior - Emerald Dream - US
    ----------------

  • kitaradkitarad RomeMember EpicPosts: 3,460
    At least seeing the chances in black and white might make one feel more and more foolish each time you buy one.

  • laseritlaserit Vancouver, BCMember EpicPosts: 4,578

    DMKano said:



    Dakeru said:





    GladDog said:



    If people actually SEE that their chances of getting the uber leet mega scarf is .001%, they may change their minds about buying the damn box in the first place!






    I wouldn't count on that.

    But yes this is a step in the right direction. Now let's hope EU and NA will come up with similar regulations.





    Chance of this happening in NA - zero, EU maybe 5%


    Thats pretty bold.

    Disclosure is the norm when it comes to this type of thing. I'd say it's just a matter of time, it's just not on the radar yet.

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • iixviiiixiixviiiix GSMember UncommonPosts: 1,320
    Still RNG .
  • parkiparki Member UncommonPosts: 8
    +1 Keller

    I thought that was already there and I've seen some games implementing it.
  • KyleranKyleran Paradise City, FLMember LegendaryPosts: 24,983

    laserit said:



    DMKano said:





    Dakeru said:







    GladDog said:




    If people actually SEE that their chances of getting the uber leet mega scarf is .001%, they may change their minds about buying the damn box in the first place!








    I wouldn't count on that.

    But yes this is a step in the right direction. Now let's hope EU and NA will come up with similar regulations.







    Chance of this happening in NA - zero, EU maybe 5%




    Thats pretty bold.

    Disclosure is the norm when it comes to this type of thing. I'd say it's just a matter of time, it's just not on the radar yet.


    As there are many laws in the U.S. requiring disclosure on gambling payouts on slot machines it could happen here if loot boxes were ruled by a court to be a gambling device.

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  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 12,929
    Awesome. It's good to see a government taking the lead on this. I'm not surprised it's China. They are fairly consistent, whether you agree with their viewpoint or not, and this seems in keeping with how they perceive and deal with social issues.

    I hope this extends to physical boxes too. My daughter loves to collect anime figures and those often come in surprise loot boxes. I won't lie. I cheat when I'm in the store and peek.
    Centuries ago, in primitive times, before the dawn of civilization, there were things that would be inconceivable to us today; such things as poverty, disease, violence, senility, and love.
  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAMember EpicPosts: 7,343

    Kyleran said:



    laserit said:





    DMKano said:







    Dakeru said:









    GladDog said:





    If people actually SEE that their chances of getting the uber leet mega scarf is .001%, they may change their minds about buying the damn box in the first place!










    I wouldn't count on that.

    But yes this is a step in the right direction. Now let's hope EU and NA will come up with similar regulations.









    Chance of this happening in NA - zero, EU maybe 5%






    Thats pretty bold.

    Disclosure is the norm when it comes to this type of thing. I'd say it's just a matter of time, it's just not on the radar yet.




    As there are many laws in the U.S. requiring disclosure on gambling payouts on slot machines it could happen here if loot boxes were ruled by a court to be a gambling device.



    If you want the US government to legally call it gambling then you bring in the IRS into the picture. 
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  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAMember EpicPosts: 5,764

    Kyleran said:



    laserit said:





    DMKano said:







    Dakeru said:









    GladDog said:





    If people actually SEE that their chances of getting the uber leet mega scarf is .001%, they may change their minds about buying the damn box in the first place!










    I wouldn't count on that.

    But yes this is a step in the right direction. Now let's hope EU and NA will come up with similar regulations.









    Chance of this happening in NA - zero, EU maybe 5%






    Thats pretty bold.

    Disclosure is the norm when it comes to this type of thing. I'd say it's just a matter of time, it's just not on the radar yet.




    As there are many laws in the U.S. requiring disclosure on gambling payouts on slot machines it could happen here if loot boxes were ruled by a court to be a gambling device.


    The only way I see that happening is if they say the result of the loot box has some monetary value - then you could call it gambling and not just a game of chance. You could loosely argue that, but I can't think of any game that legitimately allows you to buy/sell items with real money since D3 closed down that horrible idea for the auction house.
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 12,929
    It doesn't have to be "regulated gambling" for the practice to be regulated. We don't need draconian oversight, just reasonable regulation and disclosure.

    Just like labeling food products has become a standard practice the digital entertainment industry could adopt a similar practice. All they need to do is disclose the odds and costs based on those odds. So some reward would show x% chance to obtain and the cost, based on those odds, someone would expect to pay. For example, "Neat Cloak" .05%, $88.

    Start simple and don't over regulate and see how those changes affect the industry and customers.
    Centuries ago, in primitive times, before the dawn of civilization, there were things that would be inconceivable to us today; such things as poverty, disease, violence, senility, and love.
  • KyleranKyleran Paradise City, FLMember LegendaryPosts: 24,983

    Torval said:

    It doesn't have to be "regulated gambling" for the practice to be regulated. We don't need draconian oversight, just reasonable regulation and disclosure.

    Just like labeling food products has become a standard practice the digital entertainment industry could adopt a similar practice. All they need to do is disclose the odds and costs based on those odds. So some reward would show x% chance to obtain and the cost, based on those odds, someone would expect to pay. For example, "Neat Cloak" .05%, $88.

    Start simple and don't over regulate and see how those changes affect the industry and customers.


    Fairly certain the labeling of food products wasn't voluntary, but rather due to the demands of govt agencies such as the FDA.

    Can we convince the gov't to create a video game authority?


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  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 12,929

    Kyleran said:



    Torval said:


    It doesn't have to be "regulated gambling" for the practice to be regulated. We don't need draconian oversight, just reasonable regulation and disclosure.

    Just like labeling food products has become a standard practice the digital entertainment industry could adopt a similar practice. All they need to do is disclose the odds and costs based on those odds. So some reward would show x% chance to obtain and the cost, based on those odds, someone would expect to pay. For example, "Neat Cloak" .05%, $88.

    Start simple and don't over regulate and see how those changes affect the industry and customers.




    Fairly certain the labeling of food products wasn't voluntary, but rather due to the demands of govt agencies such as the FDA.

    Can we convince the gov't to create a video game authority?




    I agree and that's what I was saying. Maybe we don't need a new government agency when it could fall under an existing agency, but yes there should be a responsible government body and the oversight should extend beyond video games or digital loot boxes like I pointed out above. Any time a blind box product is offered, physical or digital, the odds of getting and costs associated with getting each result should be presented in a format that is easy for anyone to read.

    There is a lot more blind box type of products and sales than just digital loot boxes and getting all the various cases and industries classified as gambling is a tough sell and in most, if not all, cases overkill.
    Centuries ago, in primitive times, before the dawn of civilization, there were things that would be inconceivable to us today; such things as poverty, disease, violence, senility, and love.
  • CrazKanukCrazKanuk Elmira, ONMember EpicPosts: 5,327

    Torval said:



    Kyleran said:





    Torval said:



    It doesn't have to be "regulated gambling" for the practice to be regulated. We don't need draconian oversight, just reasonable regulation and disclosure.

    Just like labeling food products has become a standard practice the digital entertainment industry could adopt a similar practice. All they need to do is disclose the odds and costs based on those odds. So some reward would show x% chance to obtain and the cost, based on those odds, someone would expect to pay. For example, "Neat Cloak" .05%, $88.

    Start simple and don't over regulate and see how those changes affect the industry and customers.






    Fairly certain the labeling of food products wasn't voluntary, but rather due to the demands of govt agencies such as the FDA.

    Can we convince the gov't to create a video game authority?






    I agree and that's what I was saying. Maybe we don't need a new government agency when it could fall under an existing agency, but yes there should be a responsible government body and the oversight should extend beyond video games or digital loot boxes like I pointed out above. Any time a blind box product is offered, physical or digital, the odds of getting and costs associated with getting each result should be presented in a format that is easy for anyone to read.

    There is a lot more blind box type of products and sales than just digital loot boxes and getting all the various cases and industries classified as gambling is a tough sell and in most, if not all, cases overkill.



    Soooooo you're suggesting that a government agency takes on more work than what they're already doing? ....... Naaaaah, that'll never work!

    Crazkanuk

    ----------------
    Azarelos - 90 Hunter - Emerald
    Durnzig - 90 Paladin - Emerald
    Demonicron - 90 Death Knight - Emerald Dream - US
    Tankinpain - 90 Monk - Azjol-Nerub - US
    Brindell - 90 Warrior - Emerald Dream - US
    ----------------

  • AmatheAmathe Miami, FLMember RarePosts: 2,757
    The last thing in every loot box is hope.

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  • CrazKanukCrazKanuk Elmira, ONMember EpicPosts: 5,327

    Amathe said:

    The last thing in every loot box is hope.



    No, the last thing in every loot box is disappointment :) 

    Funny story..... I play a mobile game where you get these scrolls for doing various stuff in the game. The drop rates are quite public and are like 0.4% for the top tier monsters. People have played for literally a year without actually getting one. I'm got like 10 in the past year and I spent a measly $10 in the first week I played. So any time I mention that, there is much hate. 

    Crazkanuk

    ----------------
    Azarelos - 90 Hunter - Emerald
    Durnzig - 90 Paladin - Emerald
    Demonicron - 90 Death Knight - Emerald Dream - US
    Tankinpain - 90 Monk - Azjol-Nerub - US
    Brindell - 90 Warrior - Emerald Dream - US
    ----------------

  • laseritlaserit Vancouver, BCMember EpicPosts: 4,578

    Kyleran said:



    laserit said:





    DMKano said:







    Dakeru said:









    GladDog said:





    If people actually SEE that their chances of getting the uber leet mega scarf is .001%, they may change their minds about buying the damn box in the first place!










    I wouldn't count on that.

    But yes this is a step in the right direction. Now let's hope EU and NA will come up with similar regulations.









    Chance of this happening in NA - zero, EU maybe 5%






    Thats pretty bold.

    Disclosure is the norm when it comes to this type of thing. I'd say it's just a matter of time, it's just not on the radar yet.




    As there are many laws in the U.S. requiring disclosure on gambling payouts on slot machines it could happen here if loot boxes were ruled by a court to be a gambling device.


    Even things like Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes and McDonald's Monopoly have to legally disclose odds.

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

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