Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Lootboxes are gambling (Official Statement)

1356720

Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 20,985
    Asm0deus said:
    Torval said:
    DMKano said:
    DMKano said:
    No not all.

    It has to have real world value.

    Otherwise games that have untradable lootboxes for in game currency only would also fall under this
    They make it very clear in their review that real world value is no longer a requirement. And yes, if those lootboxes can be purchased with real money (or via a virtual currency that can be obtained for real money) then they fall under this ruling.  Read the section for Overwatch for some examples of their thinking. Items obtained from the Overwatch lootboxes are only cosmetic, and can not be traded.

    Then this is beyond moronic.

    Lets say a B2P game without a cash shop has a lootbox mechanic that can only br obtained via gameplay, lets say its a reward for dungeon completion and the lootbox as well as all items are player bound.

    Lets say the game is also single player.

    If that falls under a gambling law - it is the dumbest shit ever.


    There must be guidelines established for tradability with other players for some real world value.
    Who is going to decide where the RNG for money ends?

    Is it a loot crate if it can damage your "character" back and opening it is gamified through a combat simulation? If so then that will screw up a lot of RPGs. If not then all studios need to do is gamify their loot crates. Make them look like a monster and provide a combat simulation.

    However this plays out, it will be interesting to see how studios and publishers solve this puzzle. I think Belgium will find they're in the same situation publishers are with gold farmers. They're going for a moving target.
    It not hard at all to define guys....a lootbox is a lootbox when using or opening it requires real life money at some point.

    It doesn't matter if companies try to find loopholes like saying but you open them "trion points"......

    ... if you need to buy those trion points with real money then they are lootboxes and it doesn't matter if you buy those trion points of the AH with in game gold, if the person selling on the AH had to use real life money to sell the trion points in game then they are still lootboxes.

    Remove the real life money part of the equation or mechanic then they become CHESTS with RNG elements and are no longer lootboxes.
    Not as easily said, as done. I will give you an example from a system that I have already used for monetization.

    You dont sell lootboxes, you give them in game, using virtual currency earned in game. This would not be gambling, even with the current interpretation.

    The way to monetize this is to make the boxes with good stuff cost a fortune, and sell items that increase how much currency you earn in game. Increasing in game returns for a price is not gambling, and this does not make the in game boxes gambling.

    You are just moving the target to something that does not qualify under the rules. I can think of a few other ways as well, and this is just the first day... I am sure that with a little though, a solid work around will be found.
    No, because your example still requires an intermediate activity- you play the game.  You're not buying the loot box, or the item that drops, you're playing the game and the RNG rolls come along with it.  That's an RPG.

    Take out the "playing the game" part, it's a lootbox.
    Fine then.  When you play the game, the monsters you kill drop loot boxes.  On average, you get about 100 loot boxes per hour, even at the very low levels.   Those loot boxes are also freely tradeable between players, so you could buy them by the thousands off of the auction house for a nominal fee.

    The catch is that it costs $1 to actually open each loot box, however.  Now you have to do something to play the game in order to get the loot boxes.  But is that really meaningfully different from a system where the loot boxes are purely bought for $1 each?
    ysquare21jimmywolf
  • Asm0deusAsm0deus Member EpicPosts: 2,946
    edited May 2018
    Quizzical said:
    Asm0deus said:
    Torval said:
    DMKano said:
    DMKano said:
    No not all.

    It has to have real world value.

    Otherwise games that have untradable lootboxes for in game currency only would also fall under this
    They make it very clear in their review that real world value is no longer a requirement. And yes, if those lootboxes can be purchased with real money (or via a virtual currency that can be obtained for real money) then they fall under this ruling.  Read the section for Overwatch for some examples of their thinking. Items obtained from the Overwatch lootboxes are only cosmetic, and can not be traded.

    Then this is beyond moronic.

    Lets say a B2P game without a cash shop has a lootbox mechanic that can only br obtained via gameplay, lets say its a reward for dungeon completion and the lootbox as well as all items are player bound.

    Lets say the game is also single player.

    If that falls under a gambling law - it is the dumbest shit ever.


    There must be guidelines established for tradability with other players for some real world value.
    Who is going to decide where the RNG for money ends?

    Is it a loot crate if it can damage your "character" back and opening it is gamified through a combat simulation? If so then that will screw up a lot of RPGs. If not then all studios need to do is gamify their loot crates. Make them look like a monster and provide a combat simulation.

    However this plays out, it will be interesting to see how studios and publishers solve this puzzle. I think Belgium will find they're in the same situation publishers are with gold farmers. They're going for a moving target.
    It not hard at all to define guys....a lootbox is a lootbox when using or opening it requires real life money at some point.

    It doesn't matter if companies try to find loopholes like saying but you open them "trion points"......

    ... if you need to buy those trion points with real money then they are lootboxes and it doesn't matter if you buy those trion points of the AH with in game gold, if the person selling on the AH had to use real life money to sell the trion points in game then they are still lootboxes.

    Remove the real life money part of the equation or mechanic then they become CHESTS with RNG elements and are no longer lootboxes.
    Not as easily said, as done. I will give you an example from a system that I have already used for monetization.

    You dont sell lootboxes, you give them in game, using virtual currency earned in game. This would not be gambling, even with the current interpretation.

    The way to monetize this is to make the boxes with good stuff cost a fortune, and sell items that increase how much currency you earn in game. Increasing in game returns for a price is not gambling, and this does not make the in game boxes gambling.

    You are just moving the target to something that does not qualify under the rules. I can think of a few other ways as well, and this is just the first day... I am sure that with a little though, a solid work around will be found.
    No, because your example still requires an intermediate activity- you play the game.  You're not buying the loot box, or the item that drops, you're playing the game and the RNG rolls come along with it.  That's an RPG.

    Take out the "playing the game" part, it's a lootbox.
    Fine then.  When you play the game, the monsters you kill drop loot boxes.  On average, you get about 100 loot boxes per hour, even at the very low levels.   Those loot boxes are also freely tradeable between players, so you could buy them by the thousands off of the auction house for a nominal fee.

    The catch is that it costs $1 to actually open each loot box, however.  Now you have to do something to play the game in order to get the loot boxes.  But is that really meaningfully different from a system where the loot boxes are purely bought for $1 each?
    It's the same difference, you are using real life money to gamble with a lootbox. You're just using different methods to try and claim it's not gambling.


    Now say you want that lootbox to try and get that anima pistol that has a low .0001 % chance to drop but instead, since lootboxes are now illegal, you just go to the cashshop and outright buy the anima pistol, no RNG involved, then no gambling required and the issue is resolved.

    Ofc companies are doing mental gymnastics to avoid this because they know it will cost far far more to gamble your way into the said pistol unless they sell at an astronomical price which they know wont fly and they'll be called out for the p2w.
    ysquare21jimmywolf

    Brenics ~ Just to point out I do believe Chris Roberts is going down as the man who cheated backers and took down crowdfunding for gaming.

    case: Coolermaster HAF932
    PSU: Antec EA 750watt
    RAM: 4x2g G-SKILL DDR3-1600mhz 9-9-9-24
    Mb:Gigabyte GA-P55-UD4P
    CPU: i5-750 @4ghz
    GPU: gtx msi N760 TF 2GD5/OC
    cooling: Noctua NH-D14
    storage: seagate 600 240GB SSD, samsung evo 860 500gb SSD, 500GB x7200rpm HDD


  • SephirosoSephiroso Member RarePosts: 2,019
    Or they could simply go back to the enhancing gear power system that archeage used. No lootboxes, just straight up-front p2w like things used to be.

    image
    Be the Ultimate Ninja! Play Billy Vs. SNAKEMAN today!

  • Asm0deusAsm0deus Member EpicPosts: 2,946
    Sephiroso said:
    Or they could simply go back to the enhancing gear power system that archeage used. No lootboxes, just straight up-front p2w like things used to be.
      Indeed and to me that would be preferable. 

    Gambling should be done in a casino or such internet site and just like casinos have rules, like no counting cards etc etc, so we should have rules in the reverse to keep gambling out of video games so it is done in the proper venues that our own laws say it should be done in.

    If I go to rent an apartment that has a cats only, no dogs allowed policy and I rent a place and dress up my yorkie like a cat eventually I will be found out and no matter how much make up or dress up I do a vet will tell the judge, "tis a cat your honor not a dog." I will have the option of getting rid of the dog or moving out.

    Same thing applies here gambling shouldn't be in our video games anymore than a bar with strippers belongs in our kids schools.

    It's not rocket science in the end.  People are just easily confused and being conned into thinking a dog is cat.
    craftseekerysquare21RexKushman

    Brenics ~ Just to point out I do believe Chris Roberts is going down as the man who cheated backers and took down crowdfunding for gaming.

    case: Coolermaster HAF932
    PSU: Antec EA 750watt
    RAM: 4x2g G-SKILL DDR3-1600mhz 9-9-9-24
    Mb:Gigabyte GA-P55-UD4P
    CPU: i5-750 @4ghz
    GPU: gtx msi N760 TF 2GD5/OC
    cooling: Noctua NH-D14
    storage: seagate 600 240GB SSD, samsung evo 860 500gb SSD, 500GB x7200rpm HDD


  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,662
    Torval said:
    DMKano said:
    DMKano said:
    No not all.

    It has to have real world value.

    Otherwise games that have untradable lootboxes for in game currency only would also fall under this
    They make it very clear in their review that real world value is no longer a requirement. And yes, if those lootboxes can be purchased with real money (or via a virtual currency that can be obtained for real money) then they fall under this ruling.  Read the section for Overwatch for some examples of their thinking. Items obtained from the Overwatch lootboxes are only cosmetic, and can not be traded.

    Then this is beyond moronic.

    Lets say a B2P game without a cash shop has a lootbox mechanic that can only br obtained via gameplay, lets say its a reward for dungeon completion and the lootbox as well as all items are player bound.

    Lets say the game is also single player.

    If that falls under a gambling law - it is the dumbest shit ever.


    There must be guidelines established for tradability with other players for some real world value.
    Who is going to decide where the RNG for money ends?

    Is it a loot crate if it can damage your "character" back and opening it is gamified through a combat simulation? If so then that will screw up a lot of RPGs. If not then all studios need to do is gamify their loot crates. Make them look like a monster and provide a combat simulation.

    However this plays out, it will be interesting to see how studios and publishers solve this puzzle. I think Belgium will find they're in the same situation publishers are with gold farmers. They're going for a moving target.
    Again, you make this point, but seem to do so completely ignoring that we're talking about living, breathing human beings thinking on this here, not semantic-saddled robots.

    If there's a monster to fight and you have to defeat them to get loot, you aren't purchasing the loot roll.  You're purchasing the gameplay experience, which includes a loot roll should you down the boss.  Lootboxes are nothing but a cash exchange for a chance at an item.  There's nothing else involved.
    Exactly, so instead of loot crates in the future, you may be able to purchase one-off custom gameplay experiences with unique and superior rewards. They will only be as challenging as necessary to fulfill the requirement.

    What we'll see is loot crate mechanics hidden behind all the exceptions because it's really not that hard to run circles around specifics. The law must be specific enough such that it is easy to identify a loot crate. That will be moved behind something else, like Kano's example of Overwatch in China. It's not going away.

    There are three main choices studios and publishers have:
    1. Exit a region. This is happening with some games and GDPR. If a region or country is too expensive to comply with they will exit the market. This could be an immediate short-term response for small and medium-sized companies until they can enter again with a more aggressive strategy.

    2. Do nothing and eat the revenue loss.

    3. Move monetization just outside the legal boundary of the definition of "loot crate". That is the same variable reward mechanic will become part of something that isn't called "loot crate" skirting the law.

    Bigger questions will be how this fits in with the rest of the EU. What will other EU member nation do in response? What will the UK do? And how will NA and SEA nations respond, if they respond at all?
    take back the hobby: https://www.reddit.com/r/patientgamers/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly
    ༼ つ ◕◕ ༽つ

    It only took 3 people 8 words to rock Blizzard to its core.
  • Asm0deusAsm0deus Member EpicPosts: 2,946
    edited May 2018
    Torval said:
    ...snip...
    ...snip....

    Bigger questions will be how this fits in with the rest of the EU. What will other EU member nation do in response? What will the UK do? And how will NA and SEA nations respond, if they respond at all?
    Indeed. We can't say how it will go but if one country starts banning lootboxes it's a right step in the right direction. We just have to hope the rest of the world isn't too slow on the uptake and follows suit sometime this century...lol

    I highly doubt gaming company would give up potential revenue just to thumb their finger at a country if enough of em decide to follow suit.

    I mean what are they gonna do pack up shop and quit making $$$ in a hissy fit cause their $$$ exploit was nerfed?


    This reminds me of the Net Neutrality debate somewhat, for example California is in the process of passing some nice NN rules and if they succeed and NY follows suit there's good chances ISP will just follow those rules even if other states don't have the same rules because ISP tend to make one policy according to the toughest state rules/regulations to simplify their policies/management and avoid legal issues across the country.

    Game companies could do something similar.
    RexKushman

    Brenics ~ Just to point out I do believe Chris Roberts is going down as the man who cheated backers and took down crowdfunding for gaming.

    case: Coolermaster HAF932
    PSU: Antec EA 750watt
    RAM: 4x2g G-SKILL DDR3-1600mhz 9-9-9-24
    Mb:Gigabyte GA-P55-UD4P
    CPU: i5-750 @4ghz
    GPU: gtx msi N760 TF 2GD5/OC
    cooling: Noctua NH-D14
    storage: seagate 600 240GB SSD, samsung evo 860 500gb SSD, 500GB x7200rpm HDD


  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 11,755
    Quizzical said:
    What happens if game companies respond to this by banning people from accessing the game from Belgium?  Or by saying that you can't buy loot boxes from Belgium, but will have to compete against people from other countries who are powered up by loot boxes?
    That's like saying what happens if any unfair business practice is clammped down in one county, could there be any negative side effects for consumers in that country?

    Yes, but that's not a reason to allow bad business practice to continue, eventually some version of those new laws will become worldwide enough for it to not to mater. Also your concerns are worst case speculations, lets see what happens.
    Torvalysquare21Asm0deuscraftseeker

     25 Agrees

    You received 25 Agrees. You're posting some good content. Great!

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Now Doesn't That Make You Feel All Warm And Fuzzy Inside? :P

  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,662
    Scot said:
    Quizzical said:
    What happens if game companies respond to this by banning people from accessing the game from Belgium?  Or by saying that you can't buy loot boxes from Belgium, but will have to compete against people from other countries who are powered up by loot boxes?
    That's like saying what happens if any unfair business practice is clammped down in one county, could there be any negative side effects for consumers in that country?

    Yes, but that's not a reason to allow bad business practice to continue, eventually some version of those new laws will become worldwide enough for it to not to mater. Also your concerns are worst case speculations, lets see what happens.
    You keep on thinking it's getting nipped in the bud. Watch how that doesn't happen. Then ask yourself why.
    take back the hobby: https://www.reddit.com/r/patientgamers/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly
    ༼ つ ◕◕ ༽つ

    It only took 3 people 8 words to rock Blizzard to its core.
  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 11,755
    Torval said:
    Scot said:
    Quizzical said:
    What happens if game companies respond to this by banning people from accessing the game from Belgium?  Or by saying that you can't buy loot boxes from Belgium, but will have to compete against people from other countries who are powered up by loot boxes?
    That's like saying what happens if any unfair business practice is clammped down in one county, could there be any negative side effects for consumers in that country?

    Yes, but that's not a reason to allow bad business practice to continue, eventually some version of those new laws will become worldwide enough for it to not to mater. Also your concerns are worst case speculations, lets see what happens.
    You keep on thinking it's getting nipped in the bud. Watch how that doesn't happen. Then ask yourself why.
    Not at all, I stand by what I said a few months before we had that US senator who started talking about it. It will take ten years before we sort this out, its a complex gambling issue. Also as we talked about before in another thread, it is hard to say if this decision will have the desired effect.

    As you know I advocate we remove all gambling from games, but gambling is a tide coming into our wider societies that is going to take a lot of wising up to before we realise what we are dealing with. We had very strict gambling rules which have been loosened up over the years, that plus digital means of bringing in gambling under another name are a corrosive influence.
    Asm0deuscraftseeker

     25 Agrees

    You received 25 Agrees. You're posting some good content. Great!

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Now Doesn't That Make You Feel All Warm And Fuzzy Inside? :P

  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 5,782
    edited May 2018
    Torval said:

    I'm not that clever and I have thought of lots of fun ways to play around with this.

    [snip]

    You sell cash shop items such as an XP boost for $2. It also comes with random extra goodies. You're buying an XP boost, not a loot crate.
    I think that wouldn't work in EU. Our consumer protection laws basically state that an agreement like "If you buy this item you'll get that item for free" must be considered an agreement "I'll sell you both of these items together at this price".

    Companies are allowed to advertise free stuff coming together with the purchase, but to better protect customers it's never considered free if you make a purchase to get it.

    That would likely extend to all arrangements where company would sell something and give free lootboxes as an extra.



    That's not to say that companies might not find another way to circumvent the rule. I don't think it's possible to prevent companies from circumventing it, but the legislators might be able to make it unattractive enough that companies and customers would prefer another form of monetization. The law wouldn't need to be perfect, just effective enough.
    Asm0deuscraftseeker
     
  • kitaradkitarad Member EpicPosts: 5,125
    Belgium does not have a big enough player base unlike China that has for a company to worry about. More countries have to adopt this to make a real change. 

    Of course companies will immediately if not already are busy designing alternatives.
    Asm0deus

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 11,054
    edited May 2018
    Are there really no other ways for gaming companies to make money than by randomizing what people are buying?  If it’s such a great model why hasn’t it moved to all other aspects of society?  Why dont we just buy McBoxes at McDonalds that contain random food items?  Just costs $0.25 a box. Or maybe buy a drink for $1 but get a McBox free.  Some will only have 2 fries, some might only have lettuce or a slice of tomato, but some will have Deluxe Chicken sandwiches worth $5!!  It’s not gambling because you actually “win” something each time (by the logic of some)

    It hasn’t spread because it’s simply not acceptable.  It snuck into gaming, and insidiously has taken over like a virus that finds a host with no natural defenses. Who in their right mind doesn’t want to know what they are buying?

    We can do better. 

    Is this law going to be a silver bullet?  No...  but it’s a step.  It’s an acknowledgement that this is wrong, and even if it ends up being flawed it’s an attempt to let companies know that this is simply not acceptable to society.


    MendelAsm0deuscraftseeker

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

    My ignore list finally has one occupant after 12 years. I am the strongest supporter of free speech on here, but free speech does not mean forced listening. Have fun my friend. Hope you find a new stalking target.

  • mklinicmklinic Member UncommonPosts: 1,565
    No, because your example still requires an intermediate activity- you play the game.  You're not buying the loot box, or the item that drops, you're playing the game and the RNG rolls come along with it.  That's an RPG.

    Take out the "playing the game" part, it's a lootbox.
    If we're talking about gambling, then how does this differ from a casino?

    I buy chips (intermediate currency) to go play a game (blackjack for the sake of example) and through some combination of luck + skill, am potentially rewarded with something of value (moar chips!!). So I bought a form of currency and used it to participate in an intermediate activity; I gambled. Except, In this case, I can turn my intermediate currency back into cash.

    If an intermediate activity was all it took to remove the label of gambling, then it's seem like plenty of things we consider gambling now could be re-examined (if just considering this point of view and not additional regulation specific to other venues of course).

    I'm sure that's an overly simplified example, and I have no legislative influence to speak of, but just the way I see it after reading the various back and forth in the thread....
    Asm0deuscraftseeker

    -mklinic

    "There's a point I think we're missing.
    It's in the air we raise our fists in."
    -from Behind Closed Doors by Rise Against

  • mklinicmklinic Member UncommonPosts: 1,565
    Are there really no other ways for gaming companies to make money than by randomizing what people are buying?  If it’s such a great model why hasn’t it moved to all other aspects of society?  Why dont we just buy McBoxes at McDonalds that contain random food items?  Just costs $0.25 a box. Or maybe buy a drink for $1 but get a McBox free.  Some will only have 2 fries, some might only have lettuce or a slice of tomato, but some will have Deluxe Chicken sandwiches worth $5!!  It’s not gambling because you actually “win” something each time (by the logic of some)

    It hasn’t spread because it’s simply not acceptable.  It snuck into gaming, and insidiously has taken over like a virus that finds a host with no natural defenses. Who in their right mind doesn’t want to know what they are buying?

    We can do better. 

    Is this law going to be a silver bullet?  No...  but it’s a step.  It’s an acknowledgement that this is wrong, and even if it ends up being flawed it’s an attempt to let companies know that this is simply not acceptable to society.


    Hasn't it spread though? When I want to buy my kids a new toy, there are plenty of "mystery box" toys. They tend to vary in the $3-$6 dollar range and contain a random [thing], from that particular toy set, which you don't know until you open it. For clothing, Funko has had mystery T-Shirt boxes. These boxes would contain one of some number of shirts along a certain theme such as Minecraft. Otherwise, you have various monthly "loot crates" subscription services that you tend to not know the content of until you receive them/they've shipped.

    I'd say the mechanic, or a reasonable variationw there of, is pretty visible outside of gaming as well. Not that it's right or good mind you...but the illness has already spread :P
    ScotAsm0deus

    -mklinic

    "There's a point I think we're missing.
    It's in the air we raise our fists in."
    -from Behind Closed Doors by Rise Against

  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 11,755
    mklinic said:
    Are there really no other ways for gaming companies to make money than by randomizing what people are buying?  If it’s such a great model why hasn’t it moved to all other aspects of society?  Why dont we just buy McBoxes at McDonalds that contain random food items?  Just costs $0.25 a box. Or maybe buy a drink for $1 but get a McBox free.  Some will only have 2 fries, some might only have lettuce or a slice of tomato, but some will have Deluxe Chicken sandwiches worth $5!!  It’s not gambling because you actually “win” something each time (by the logic of some)

    It hasn’t spread because it’s simply not acceptable.  It snuck into gaming, and insidiously has taken over like a virus that finds a host with no natural defenses. Who in their right mind doesn’t want to know what they are buying?

    We can do better. 

    Is this law going to be a silver bullet?  No...  but it’s a step.  It’s an acknowledgement that this is wrong, and even if it ends up being flawed it’s an attempt to let companies know that this is simply not acceptable to society.


    Hasn't it spread though? When I want to buy my kids a new toy, there are plenty of "mystery box" toys. They tend to vary in the $3-$6 dollar range and contain a random [thing], from that particular toy set, which you don't know until you open it. For clothing, Funko has had mystery T-Shirt boxes. These boxes would contain one of some number of shirts along a certain theme such as Minecraft. Otherwise, you have various monthly "loot crates" subscription services that you tend to not know the content of until you receive them/they've shipped.

    I'd say the mechanic, or a reasonable variationw there of, is pretty visible outside of gaming as well. Not that it's right or good mind you...but the illness has already spread :P
    Indeed it has, here is your 1 in 20 chance to get a 55+ inch TV for free!

    http://www.thedrum.com/creative-works/project/amv-bbdo-1000heads-currys-pc-world-your-1in20-chance-free-tv

    Now this is all factored in by the store, but would you not rather see reduced prices than gamble for a free TV?

     25 Agrees

    You received 25 Agrees. You're posting some good content. Great!

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Now Doesn't That Make You Feel All Warm And Fuzzy Inside? :P

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 11,054
    Scot said:
    mklinic said:
    Are there really no other ways for gaming companies to make money than by randomizing what people are buying?  If it’s such a great model why hasn’t it moved to all other aspects of society?  Why dont we just buy McBoxes at McDonalds that contain random food items?  Just costs $0.25 a box. Or maybe buy a drink for $1 but get a McBox free.  Some will only have 2 fries, some might only have lettuce or a slice of tomato, but some will have Deluxe Chicken sandwiches worth $5!!  It’s not gambling because you actually “win” something each time (by the logic of some)

    It hasn’t spread because it’s simply not acceptable.  It snuck into gaming, and insidiously has taken over like a virus that finds a host with no natural defenses. Who in their right mind doesn’t want to know what they are buying?

    We can do better. 

    Is this law going to be a silver bullet?  No...  but it’s a step.  It’s an acknowledgement that this is wrong, and even if it ends up being flawed it’s an attempt to let companies know that this is simply not acceptable to society.


    Hasn't it spread though? When I want to buy my kids a new toy, there are plenty of "mystery box" toys. They tend to vary in the $3-$6 dollar range and contain a random [thing], from that particular toy set, which you don't know until you open it. For clothing, Funko has had mystery T-Shirt boxes. These boxes would contain one of some number of shirts along a certain theme such as Minecraft. Otherwise, you have various monthly "loot crates" subscription services that you tend to not know the content of until you receive them/they've shipped.

    I'd say the mechanic, or a reasonable variationw there of, is pretty visible outside of gaming as well. Not that it's right or good mind you...but the illness has already spread :P
    Indeed it has, here is your 1 in 20 chance to get a 55+ inch TV for free!

    http://www.thedrum.com/creative-works/project/amv-bbdo-1000heads-currys-pc-world-your-1in20-chance-free-tv

    Now this is all factored in by the store, but would you not rather see reduced prices than gamble for a free TV?
    Perhaps you are right... we have just been made so numb to it that it’s spreading.  This is what happens when you expose kids to the concept at an early age.  Heck it’s been going on since you put a coin in a machine and twisted a knob to get a random prize. 

    Im not against gambling for adults.  But we all have to take some responsibility for letting it get this far.

    We can do better.
    mklinicScotRexKushmanAsm0deuscraftseeker

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

    My ignore list finally has one occupant after 12 years. I am the strongest supporter of free speech on here, but free speech does not mean forced listening. Have fun my friend. Hope you find a new stalking target.

  • DMKanoDMKano Member LegendaryPosts: 21,181
    mklinic said:
    No, because your example still requires an intermediate activity- you play the game.  You're not buying the loot box, or the item that drops, you're playing the game and the RNG rolls come along with it.  That's an RPG.

    Take out the "playing the game" part, it's a lootbox.
    If we're talking about gambling, then how does this differ from a casino?

    I buy chips (intermediate currency) to go play a game (blackjack for the sake of example) and through some combination of luck + skill, am potentially rewarded with something of value (moar chips!!). So I bought a form of currency and used it to participate in an intermediate activity; I gambled. Except, In this case, I can turn my intermediate currency back into cash.

    If an intermediate activity was all it took to remove the label of gambling, then it's seem like plenty of things we consider gambling now could be re-examined (if just considering this point of view and not additional regulation specific to other venues of course).

    I'm sure that's an overly simplified example, and I have no legislative influence to speak of, but just the way I see it after reading the various back and forth in the thread....


    The difference is a game lootbox always give you something of value in game, where in real gambling losing results in zero value.

    Thats one exploitable loophole right there - lootbox = rng buying, gambling = high chance to lose money and get nothing and low chance of winning 
  • mklinicmklinic Member UncommonPosts: 1,565
    DMKano said:


    The difference is a game lootbox always give you something of value in game, where in real gambling losing results in zero value.

    Thats one exploitable loophole right there - lootbox = rng buying, gambling = high chance to lose money and get nothing and low chance of winning 
    That's a fair distinction. I was looking at it as "chance to get [thing of perceived value]" as perceived by me vs. "chance to get [something at all]." To me, getting 5 things I wasn't after has no value and getting what I was after was equivalent to "winning." That was a flaw in my logic.

    Aside from the free crates ESO occasionally gives out, I guess I just don't have enough experience gambling/not-gambling/sorta-maybe gambling...

    Based on the "at least you got something" angle, these have more in common with the "mystery toys" that are sold in stores. You have a general idea of what you'll possibly receive, but don't know what you got until you've paid. Perhaps those are worse as they overtly target children...
    Slapshot1188

    -mklinic

    "There's a point I think we're missing.
    It's in the air we raise our fists in."
    -from Behind Closed Doors by Rise Against

  • MMOGamer71MMOGamer71 Member UncommonPosts: 1,977
    edited May 2018
    Sounds like politicians are looking for a new source of tax revenue to squander - a loot box tax must be needed since it's "gambling."
  • cesmode8cesmode8 Member UncommonPosts: 431
    Quizzical said:
    What happens if game companies respond to this by banning people from accessing the game from Belgium?  Or by saying that you can't buy loot boxes from Belgium, but will have to compete against people from other countries who are powered up by loot boxes?
    They won't do this, its not the gamer's fault.  They will simply not sell lootboxes in Belgium.

    Or, alternatively, they will not sell their game to players in belgium (whether or not you buy from someplace else and have it shipped to your home in Belgium is a different story).

    Scot
  • PsYcHoGBRPsYcHoGBR Member UncommonPosts: 469
    It's Belgium and the Netherlands that have ruled loot boxes to be gambling. Belgium is the HQ for the EU, this could become EU law for all 28 of the EU countries.
    Asm0deus
  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 5,782
    PsYcHoGBR said:
    It's Belgium and the Netherlands that have ruled loot boxes to be gambling. Belgium is the HQ for the EU, this could become EU law for all 28 of the EU countries.
    The location of HQ doesn't have much influence on EU laws.

    Germany has most power on EU laws, and after that probably France. Belgium and Netherlands are minor countries and usually can't pass anything unless one of the giants decides to support them.
    TorvalTatsuya9411
     
  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Member LegendaryPosts: 8,483
    edited May 2018
    Quizzical said:
    Asm0deus said:
    Torval said:
    DMKano said:
    DMKano said:
    No not all.

    It has to have real world value.

    Otherwise games that have untradable lootboxes for in game currency only would also fall under this
    They make it very clear in their review that real world value is no longer a requirement. And yes, if those lootboxes can be purchased with real money (or via a virtual currency that can be obtained for real money) then they fall under this ruling.  Read the section for Overwatch for some examples of their thinking. Items obtained from the Overwatch lootboxes are only cosmetic, and can not be traded.

    Then this is beyond moronic.

    Lets say a B2P game without a cash shop has a lootbox mechanic that can only br obtained via gameplay, lets say its a reward for dungeon completion and the lootbox as well as all items are player bound.

    Lets say the game is also single player.

    If that falls under a gambling law - it is the dumbest shit ever.


    There must be guidelines established for tradability with other players for some real world value.
    Who is going to decide where the RNG for money ends?

    Is it a loot crate if it can damage your "character" back and opening it is gamified through a combat simulation? If so then that will screw up a lot of RPGs. If not then all studios need to do is gamify their loot crates. Make them look like a monster and provide a combat simulation.

    However this plays out, it will be interesting to see how studios and publishers solve this puzzle. I think Belgium will find they're in the same situation publishers are with gold farmers. They're going for a moving target.
    It not hard at all to define guys....a lootbox is a lootbox when using or opening it requires real life money at some point.

    It doesn't matter if companies try to find loopholes like saying but you open them "trion points"......

    ... if you need to buy those trion points with real money then they are lootboxes and it doesn't matter if you buy those trion points of the AH with in game gold, if the person selling on the AH had to use real life money to sell the trion points in game then they are still lootboxes.

    Remove the real life money part of the equation or mechanic then they become CHESTS with RNG elements and are no longer lootboxes.
    Not as easily said, as done. I will give you an example from a system that I have already used for monetization.

    You dont sell lootboxes, you give them in game, using virtual currency earned in game. This would not be gambling, even with the current interpretation.

    The way to monetize this is to make the boxes with good stuff cost a fortune, and sell items that increase how much currency you earn in game. Increasing in game returns for a price is not gambling, and this does not make the in game boxes gambling.

    You are just moving the target to something that does not qualify under the rules. I can think of a few other ways as well, and this is just the first day... I am sure that with a little though, a solid work around will be found.
    No, because your example still requires an intermediate activity- you play the game.  You're not buying the loot box, or the item that drops, you're playing the game and the RNG rolls come along with it.  That's an RPG.

    Take out the "playing the game" part, it's a lootbox.
    Fine then.  When you play the game, the monsters you kill drop loot boxes.  On average, you get about 100 loot boxes per hour, even at the very low levels.   Those loot boxes are also freely tradeable between players, so you could buy them by the thousands off of the auction house for a nominal fee.

    The catch is that it costs $1 to actually open each loot box, however.  Now you have to do something to play the game in order to get the loot boxes.  But is that really meaningfully different from a system where the loot boxes are purely bought for $1 each?
    Of course it's meaningfully different- quality of gameplay comes into play.  If the game is shit, players aren't going to grind for drops in the first place.

    The essence of the issue is divorcing the purchase completely from the game.  Buying a lootbox from a store isn't even playing the game itself.  At that point, there's not even wiggle room for a business to try and make the case that the revenue wasn't received for a lootbox, but for the gameplay experience itself.

    EDIT- I would also submit that the system you describe would be hardly as effective in terms of marketing to players.  They have to put in the time still.  Lootboxes are convenient for players because they don't have to put any time in, just cash.

    image
  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Member LegendaryPosts: 8,483
    edited May 2018
    Sounds like politicians are looking for a new source of tax revenue to squander - a loot box tax must be needed since it's "gambling."
    Again, do realize that taxation IS one of the ways politicians discourage behavior they see as unhealthy for society.  That's why booze and cigarettes are taxed so highly.
    Scotcraftseeker

    image
  • LetsinodLetsinod Member UncommonPosts: 385
    PsYcHoGBR said:
    It's Belgium and the Netherlands that have ruled loot boxes to be gambling. Belgium is the HQ for the EU, this could become EU law for all 28 of the EU countries.
    If you think anything is going to change then I got a bridge to show you.
This discussion has been closed.