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(updated!) Authorities looking at regulating RNG as gambling

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  • GladDogGladDog Member RarePosts: 986
    immodium said:
    MaxBacon said:

    I hope this goes forward because only legal regulations can defeat the paid RNG monetization trend.
    It won't though. All they'll do is build the game around the new regulations. Loot boxes aren't going anywhere in AAA titles.
    I'm not sure how it will go in other countries, but in the US, a company that tries to skirt around regulations needs one of three things;

    1 - Friends in high places that can keep congress in check from overregulating
    2 - A shitload of money to buy find these friends in high places
    3 - A shitload of money to deal with audit after audit after audit of their business practices in rebuttal for ignoring the overregulation.

    Companies without a shitload of money will just give up and find another way to trick encourage people to part with their money.


    The world is going to the dogs, which is just how I planned it!


  • TheDarkrayneTheDarkrayne Member EpicPosts: 5,297
    Gdemami said:
    Vrika said:
    Then do all the items in those loot boxes have a value? 
    Value =/= cost...
    Actually it depends whether the word used as a verb or a noun.

    In this context, gambling, it pretty much always means the cost or, at least, the 'risk' of the cost.
    Gdemami
    I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 11,742
    edited November 2017
    Actually it depends whether the word used as a verb or a noun.
    No, it doesn't. Read my reply to MaxBacon above...are better sayuu's reply below!
    MaxBacon
  • sayuusayuu Member RarePosts: 746
    MaxBacon said:
    Gdemami said:
    Value =/= cost...
    Says who?

    So if I open a casino, and always give people apples when they don't win money, and put the apples as of equal value to your cost... Am I excluded from gambling regulations? :D 
    I value my life more than the cost of a bullet that would end it. . .



    GdemamiMaxBacon
  • gervaise1gervaise1 Member EpicPosts: 6,408
    Zeppel80 said:
    Any time the government gets involved in anything, it's bad.  Don't play games with loot boxes and the problem is solved. 

    Yes you can have corporations doing everything but what if there isn't a company that to build a toll road to where you live? What if your local warlord decides to come and shoot you and take your house / land / property? Or if you have been ripped off by a snake-oil saleman or find you have invested in a shell company and lost the money. 

    People who sprout such drivel are often amongst the first to first to complain about "government" failing to provide disaster relief when its there home that has been hit by hurricane/fire/flooding as well. 

    Government is not always best but blanket comments like yours are unthinking and asinine. 
    GdemamiRexKushmanshalissarMrMelGibsonCogohi
  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Member LegendaryPosts: 8,483
    MaxBacon said:
    Gdemami said:
    Value =/= cost...
    Says who?

    So if I open a casino, and always give people apples when they don't win money, and put the apples as of equal value to your cost... Am I excluded from gambling regulations? :D 
    No, even that is more equitable than the value of items offered in digital lootboxes.

    Their value can be wholly destroyed by the company for any reason, so long as they give you a 30 day notice.
    GdemamiRedemp

    image
  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 6,973
    edited November 2017
    Dodgy sneaky.

    The amazing part is that Loot Boxes are already ruled as gambling in some Asian countries, in the the west several countries are looking into the matter.

    So makes you wonder what happens, I would prefer to play games that do not put loot and things you want behind loot boxes forcing you to gamble or no deal, the profitability is undeniable so they're not going anywhere just because of internet dramas.
  • TheDarkrayneTheDarkrayne Member EpicPosts: 5,297
    edited November 2017
    Gdemami said:
    Actually it depends whether the word used as a verb or a noun.
    No, it doesn't. Read my reply to MaxBacon above...are better sayuu's reply below!
    I get what you meant but talking semantics isn't really relevant to what you were talking about.

    In gambling value is determined by Expected Value (EV). In 'gambling', but you're arguing loot boxes aren't gambling so keep reading.

    (Chance of Winning) x (Amount Won per Bet) – (Chance of Losing) x (Amount Lost per Bet).

    That's a simple way of explaining the economics of gambling to calculate Expected Value.

    'If' you can apply that formula to loot boxes, it could be considering gambling. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. It depends what you get or more importantly, what you 'could' get.

    If you only got virtual currencies in return, due to duplicates or whatever, then you can apply that formula and calculate it's value (verb). If you got a virtual item you really wanted then you can't because the value is subjective. It has personal value (noun).

    The problem is that sometimes you can apply that formula.

    This is why it's such as hot topic, there's arguments for both sides and whether or not it's gambling can't really be generalised across all games because every RNG system needs to be looked at individually.
    GdemamiCogohi
    I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,160
    Whether loot boxes constitute gambling depends tremendously on the details of the system.  People seem to be ignoring that key point.

    For example, suppose that you can buy loot boxes with real money, then open the box and have a chance of getting items that the company will buy back from you with real money--and more money than you paid to buy the boxes.  Would that constitute gambling?  I think the answer is pretty indisputably "yes".

    Suppose instead that the game company won't buy back the contents of the loot boxes, but you can readily sell them to other players, and sometimes for more than you paid for the box.  Would that constitute gambling?

    If the game company manages an official exchange to facilitate such sales between players, I'd say "yes".  But what if the company nominally bans real-money trading but makes no real effort to enforce it?  If the items you can buy are readily resold on third-party sites with a chance of getting back more money than you paid, I'd say that's still gambling.

    But what if the company puts in considerable restrictions to make it hard to resell items that you've purchased for real money.  What if they aggressively ban players who engage in real money trading?  To take the most extreme case, what if all items from loot boxes are bind on pickup, so that it's impossible to sell them for real money by any means short of selling your account entirely?  At that point, I'd say it's no longer gambling.

    You can surely see that there are a lot of possible intermediate cases where you've got a gray area and it's unclear whether something constitutes gambling.  From an enforceability perspective, whether something is gambling shouldn't depend on how effective a company's efforts at enforcing real money trading bans are.  But having a nominal ban that is ignored can be indistinguishable from gambling, while having a perfectly effective ban that catches and perma-bans all accounts that try to engage in real money trading could make anything resembling gambling impossible.

    Trying to have finely tuned lines that divide that morass of gray area between legal and illegal would be an invitation to all sorts of nonsensical rulings and perhaps outright corruption.  But saying that it's all legal would mean that online gambling is completely legal in all but name.

    If the loot boxes aren't directly purchased with real money, on the other hand, then I'd say that's not gambling.  That's just an online game.  Surely mobs dropping stuff when you kill them shouldn't be banned.
    ConstantineMerusKyutaSyukoshalissarTuor7
  • laseritlaserit Member LegendaryPosts: 6,163
    Gdemami said:
    MaxBacon said:
    Says who? 
    Any economics lesson taught at secondary school.... Heck, I bet some decent elementary school teach you that...

    MaxBacon said:
    All the items you get from a loot box are "legally" worth the money you spent so you **haven't** lost any money?
    You purchase a loot box at $5.
    Anything that is in the loot box has precisely same cost $5.
    Not all items in the loot box will have same value.

    Therefore no gambling.
    Economics 101 teaches me that pixel pants ain't worth jack shit.

    At least I can wipe my ass with the lottery ticket. 
    MadFrenchieMrMelGibsonTuor7

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • Dagon13Dagon13 Member UncommonPosts: 564
    edited November 2017
    I think I'm not following something here.

    What if a loot box costs $5 and you're guaranteed to get at least an item that you can buy from the shop for $1?  What if that item is not available in the shop at all and has no set value?  Is it "not gambling" because you always get something in return or is it not gambling because you get an item that is "worth $5" by their definition?

    What if a lottery ticket cost $5 and always guaranteed a $1 payout?

    If always receiving an item or some value in return means that it's not gambling, it seems like it would be easy to skirt regulations.  I'm definitely not getting something.
    GdemamiAsm0deus
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 11,742
    laserit said:
    Economics 101 teaches me 
    ...you apparently failed at economics 101.
    QuizzicalCogohi
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 11,742
    Dagon13 said:
    What if a loot box costs $5 and you're guaranteed to get at least an item that you can buy from the shop for $1? 
    That's irrelevant...
    Cogohi
  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 27,356
    laserit said:
    Gdemami said:
    MaxBacon said:
    Says who? 
    Any economics lesson taught at secondary school.... Heck, I bet some decent elementary school teach you that...

    MaxBacon said:
    All the items you get from a loot box are "legally" worth the money you spent so you **haven't** lost any money?
    You purchase a loot box at $5.
    Anything that is in the loot box has precisely same cost $5.
    Not all items in the loot box will have same value.

    Therefore no gambling.
    Economics 101 teaches me that pixel pants ain't worth jack shit.

    At least I can wipe my ass with the lottery ticket. 
    This is always a ridiculous argument.

    Pixels? really? What about the music you listen to? That's sound waves. Or a concert? You aren't really taking much home other than the experience. Maybe a shirt if you splurge.

    I streamed several movies last night. Paid for them. They were pixels.

    Anything that gives someone some sort of experience can be considered something that is worth money.

    So pixel pants are worth what someone is willing to pay for them or at least pay for the chance to get them.
    ConstantineMerusQuarterStackMrMelGibsonCogohi



  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 11,742
    Next news will be Kinder Surprise banned in Belgium...

    That is same stupid line of thinking people are supporting here, and politicians banking on it.
    Distopia
  • laseritlaserit Member LegendaryPosts: 6,163
    Gdemami said:
    laserit said:
    Economics 101 teaches me 
    ...you apparently failed at economics 101.
    My assets say otherwise. 

    It's funny.... you have people who defend $5 loot crates but bitch and moan about $2 hamburgers. 
    Gdemami

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,160
    laserit said:
    Economics 101 teaches me that pixel pants ain't worth jack shit.

    At least I can wipe my ass with the lottery ticket. 
    Any decent economics 101 class would have taught you that nothing has intrinsic value, but things only have value because people are willing to pay for them.  Most economics 101 classes that aren't decent would have taught you that, too.
    GdemamiTuor7
  • laseritlaserit Member LegendaryPosts: 6,163
    Sovrath said:
    laserit said:
    Gdemami said:
    MaxBacon said:
    Says who? 
    Any economics lesson taught at secondary school.... Heck, I bet some decent elementary school teach you that...

    MaxBacon said:
    All the items you get from a loot box are "legally" worth the money you spent so you **haven't** lost any money?
    You purchase a loot box at $5.
    Anything that is in the loot box has precisely same cost $5.
    Not all items in the loot box will have same value.

    Therefore no gambling.
    Economics 101 teaches me that pixel pants ain't worth jack shit.

    At least I can wipe my ass with the lottery ticket. 
    This is always a ridiculous argument.

    Pixels? really? What about the music you listen to? That's sound waves. Or a concert? You aren't really taking much home other than the experience. Maybe a shirt if you splurge.

    I streamed several movies last night. Paid for them. They were pixels.

    Anything that gives someone some sort of experience can be considered something that is worth money.

    So pixel pants are worth what someone is willing to pay for them or at least pay for the chance to get them.
    Nobody can take my music away.

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • GorweGorwe Member EpicPosts: 6,242
    MaxBacon said:
    As seen here: https://www.pcgamesn.com/star-wars-battlefront-2/battlefront-2-loot-box-gambling-belgium-gaming-commission

    I would just say it's about time, perhaps this will be the first steps that will start to regulate the unregulated gambling extravaganza that we know as Loot Boxes.

    You can see that EA already came in defensive saying their loot crates are not gambling, Blizzard still to comment on it. I hope this goes forward because only legal regulations can defeat the paid RNG monetization trend.

    I wonder where the line will be drawn. Lootboxes only or will they try to go further? Because MMOs in themselves could be presented as a "Casino genre". aRPGs too(like Diablo).
  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 6,973
    edited November 2017
    Gorwe said:
    I wonder where the line will be drawn. Lootboxes only or will they try to go further? Because MMOs in themselves could be presented as a "Casino genre". aRPGs too(like Diablo).
    What I know is that if loot boxes are ruled out as 1:1 gambling, then they still should have regulations because they do fall upon the same lines of gambling and impact it has.

    Especially because we talk about games with heavy children populations that are exposed to this, and I don't think that's right because the addictive gamble factor is still there; what shouldn't be excused by "oh hey it's okay because you always get something in return.".
    Gdemami
  • TheDarkrayneTheDarkrayne Member EpicPosts: 5,297
    edited November 2017
    Gorwe said:
    MaxBacon said:
    As seen here: https://www.pcgamesn.com/star-wars-battlefront-2/battlefront-2-loot-box-gambling-belgium-gaming-commission

    I would just say it's about time, perhaps this will be the first steps that will start to regulate the unregulated gambling extravaganza that we know as Loot Boxes.

    You can see that EA already came in defensive saying their loot crates are not gambling, Blizzard still to comment on it. I hope this goes forward because only legal regulations can defeat the paid RNG monetization trend.

    I wonder where the line will be drawn. Lootboxes only or will they try to go further? Because MMOs in themselves could be presented as a "Casino genre". aRPGs too(like Diablo).
    I'm not sure aRPGs really come into it.  You have an unlimited amount of tries to get what you want.. so you can always get what you want.

    But that can also apply to Battlefront 2 as well I suppose. That's probably why, in the end, loot boxes won't be seen as gambling as long as there's a way to keep getting them without spending real money.

    That simple point is enough to get it thrown out of court immediately.

    I don't think time spent will ever be considered a gambling cost.
    I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
  • HMackenzieHMackenzie Member UncommonPosts: 11
    I don't know how many games I have played where I wished I could just buy that outfit/item I want. Not pay for a chance to get that outfit/item I want. I'd love to see RNG go the way of the dodo. No offence to any dodo lovers out there.
    laseritCogohi
  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 16,558
    edited November 2017
    Will be difficult because the lawyers have to cover all bases or the lame developers will simply reword and find ways to circumvent the law.
    As of a few years ago MOST developers have become very bad businesses,they aim instead of bringing us great games to first and foremost,exploit the gamer and try to get more money out of the gamer than they or their game deserves.

    Obviously WORTH...value is to each individual but as of right now,law is the only one who can think rationally for the foolish who spend ridiculous amounts on rng cash shops.

    What bothers me is that it took a giant like EA for the governing bodies to take notice,Kings Isle "Wizard 101" has had one of the worst exploits on gambling rng for years already and nobody said a word because it is a kids game "oh look at the wonderful things we are doing for kids"  pffft.

    I don't call exploiting people for MORE than fair value as being good,fair,or even being good people,i see them as crooks,illegal scammers because although the laws might not be perfectly worded "as of yet" to go after these scammers,the devs themselves know full well they are running gambling ideas in cash shops.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 13,109
    It'll be interesting to see if organizations that are not self regulatory parts of the industry come to the same conclusions that the ESRB did about always getting value for a loot box purchase being the definitive criteria that makes it not gambling.

    Has the ESRB ever made a ruling or pronouncement that wasn't industry friendly?


    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED
  • laseritlaserit Member LegendaryPosts: 6,163
    laserit said:
    Sovrath said:
    laserit said:
    Gdemami said:
    MaxBacon said:
    Says who? 
    Any economics lesson taught at secondary school.... Heck, I bet some decent elementary school teach you that...

    MaxBacon said:
    All the items you get from a loot box are "legally" worth the money you spent so you **haven't** lost any money?
    You purchase a loot box at $5.
    Anything that is in the loot box has precisely same cost $5.
    Not all items in the loot box will have same value.

    Therefore no gambling.
    Economics 101 teaches me that pixel pants ain't worth jack shit.

    At least I can wipe my ass with the lottery ticket. 
    This is always a ridiculous argument.

    Pixels? really? What about the music you listen to? That's sound waves. Or a concert? You aren't really taking much home other than the experience. Maybe a shirt if you splurge.

    I streamed several movies last night. Paid for them. They were pixels.

    Anything that gives someone some sort of experience can be considered something that is worth money.

    So pixel pants are worth what someone is willing to pay for them or at least pay for the chance to get them.
    Nobody can take my music away.
    Just to add Sovrath

    It's the $RNG$ I have the problem with. If the item is 4sale I have no problem, not even with the price.

    When you buy a concert ticket you not buying a chance to see band A, B or C
    IselinAlbatroesMaxBaconMadFrenchieSlapshot1188GdemamiNildenAyinTuor7

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

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