The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has announced Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo have agreed to implement new policies surrounding the disclosure of odds for randomised in-game items and including the popular loot box. ESA stated the principle will “require paid loot boxes in games developed for their platforms to disclose information on the relative rarity or probability of obtaining randomized virtual items.” The exact launch date of the disclosure requirement is still in discussion, however, “the console makers are targeting 2020 for the implementation of the policy.” It was noted that several ESA publisher members have already implemented rarity and probability disclosures for loot boxes while a number of others have reportedly agreed to follow a similar course of action by the end of 2020.
The aforementioned list of publishers includes Activision Blizzard, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and Wizards of the Coast while “other ESA members are considering a disclosure” as well. The disclosure agreement will appertain to in-game updates that add randomised microtransaction rewards and must be “presented in a manner that is understandable and easily accessed.” Image credit: Alex Castro / The Verge ESA’s statement around the disclosure agreement was announced in course with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public loot box workshop which was held on August 7 at the Constitution Center in Washington D.C. Designed to examine consumer protection issues pertinent to loot boxes, the workshop brought together a collection of industry representatives, consumer advocates, trade associations, and government officials to tackle the matter. A spokesperson for Microsoft commented on its rarity disclosure plans saying, “We believe in transparency with customers and providing them information for making their purchase decisions,” Microsoft said in an email exchange with Kotaku. “This is why by 2020 […]
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