Belgium will try to ban loot boxes in Europe.

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deactivated-5a923fc7099e3

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Our minister of justice Koen Geens is looking to ban loot boxes on a European level. I couldn't be more proud of my little country right now.

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Forzafan86

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Im torn on the topic of lootboxes. On one hand i dislike that the industry is using them as a cashcow and designing the game so that we feel inclined to buy as many as possible. On the other hand I kinda like cosmetic rewards in lootboxes. I dont feel the need to 100% be able to control my cosmetic rewards and opening a lootbox i earned in game is like a mini Christmas.

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deactivated-5a923fc7099e3

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I think loot boxes are an abhorrent form of marketing that takes advantage of people who are prone to gambling. Micro transactions are bad enough but at least you know what you are getting. Loot boxes are designed to give you a little dopamine rush when you open them. I see no reason why we should allow them to be in games. If they want us to spend more on a game after the initial purchase they should provide content that is worth the extra money.

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viking_funeral

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Called it. I'll be glad to finally see regulation.

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TheHT

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I wonder what the response will be to this and the US thing, considering plenty of big publishers were jumping in on this shit hard.

Also be interesting to see how this affects games that've had stuff like this for a good while now, let alone how they're gonna go about it in the first place. If the point is no longer allowing publishers to have players pay money to buy lootboxes, what happens to things like digital currencies? Will devs have to completely isolate lootboxes if they want em in the game? Considering a system like Overwatch's, what if a dev sells levelling boosters that effectively give you more lootboxes for a time.

I was in the "don't support what you deem to be shitty practises" camp before, but now I'm super interested in how this all plays out.

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Captain_Insano

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Australia's legal cases around Steam and refunds ultimately led to the Steam Refund system we have now. I don't know if a Belgium case is enough for Loot Boxes to change generally (I imagine publishers will make more from loot boxes globally than they would from lost sales in Belgium), but if enough other countries followed suit I think you'd definitely see a different approach.

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whitegreyblack

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I shudder to even attempt to imagine what insane bullshit the games industry will cook up to replace loot boxes. The line is going to keep being moved and I have a feeling it's gonna get scary.

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Zevvion

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Since I speak Dutch, thought I'd translate the original report:

The Minister of Justice wants to make in-game purchases illegal if it is unclear what you are exactly purchasing. 'Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous to the mental well being of the child'.

The controversy started last week when a new game released: Star Wars: Battlefront. In this game the player could purchase so called 'lootcrates', virtual boxes which would give the player certain advantages in the game. However, the player does not know the exact contents of this crate before purchasing.

'The mixing of money and addiction is gambling', was the verdict of the Kansspelcommisie (Game of Chance Commission). VTN NIEUWS reported this to the public and several days later, developer Electronic Arts removed purchasing of lootcrates from the game, notably after receiving criticism from Disney which holds the rights to Star Wars merchandising.

The Minister wants to prevent that these lootcrates will appear in videogames at all. 'However, this will cost time because we have to take this to the Union. We will definitely attempt to make this practice illegal'.

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Redhotchilimist

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Speaking as a European: Thanks!

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soulcake

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#10  Edited By soulcake

It's funny how i tend to read a lot off Belgium news but i tend to miss the lootbox controversy guess it's not that importend for mainstream Belgian press.... Also fun fact Belgium is a country where you can't buy used games in your local retailer anymore.

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WheresDerrick

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#11  Edited By WheresDerrick

I shudder to even attempt to imagine what insane bullshit the games industry will cook up to replace loot boxes. The line is going to keep being moved and I have a feeling it's gonna get scary.

They might have to start actually making compelling DLC!

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ripelivejam

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Wonder how many will call me stupid and tear me a new one by me saying I think people are course correcting way too hard on this shit, that banning them outright is a ridiculous overreaction, and that I actually like the loot box concept as a (part of the, maybe not the entire) progression mechanic in quite a few games...

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BradBrains

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Government intervention in games is an awful awful idea

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AdamALC

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So by this rationale would capsule machines also be gambling targeting children? Collectible card games? Those loot crate things I see advertised online? Good for the Belgians though for opening this can of bullshit.

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Zevvion

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#15  Edited By Zevvion

Crap, this thing is really blowing up. Hawaii seems to follow suit.

Loading Video...

Looks like this is the end of loot boxes one way or the other. Even if legislation doesn't pass, at this point the entire practice is too tainted for developers or publishers to pursue it. And yes, he totally did say 'It's a trap'.

Looks like it also is being added in Dark Souls though! /s

Loading Video...

I lost it with the whole 'there's a small chance you'll open a mimic chest which kills your character and takes your Souls Bucks'; and 'even though we've been developing this for years and went forward with it, until it hit the public and started to affect our income, that's when we knew we didn't get it right. So we apologize and we're going to take it down, then we're going to bring it back later when the heat dies down so we can make some more money'.

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Gaff

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So by this rationale would capsule machines also be gambling targeting children? Collectible card games? Those loot crate things I see advertised online? Good for EA though for opening this can of bullshit.

Fixed that for you.

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ThePanzini

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#17  Edited By ThePanzini

Not sure how this would be the end of loot boxes just going from the wording 18+ games wouldn't count, unless they can prove their targeting minors and 'exactly what their purchasing' phrase could just be showing drop rates.

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Zevvion

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#18  Edited By Zevvion

Not sure how this would be the end of loot boxes just going from the wording 18+ games wouldn't count, unless they can prove their targeting minors and 'exactly what their purchasing' phrase could just be showing drop rates.

While we here are all adults who can assess whether we want to buy these lootcrates or no, these games are also available to children. If publishers want to prove they are not offering their games to children, they need to make their games 18+. The problem is that no developer wants their game to be 18+ rated. So this will likely be the end of lootboxes in all games, even the ones that are not specifically targeted towards children, because they still have access to it.

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AdamALC

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@gaff: Wow, I didn't know EA was the first company to use loot boxes. Oh wait... they are just the one everyone is pissed at.

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Brackstone

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#20  Edited By Brackstone

Not sure how this would be the end of loot boxes just going from the wording 18+ games wouldn't count, unless they can prove their targeting minors and 'exactly what their purchasing' phrase could just be showing drop rates.

I think it's more that if they are determined to have gambling asdefined by the law, they may not be suitable for sale in stores. To my knowledge, PEGI ratings account for fake gambling (ie Red Dead's poker) but they haven't dealt with "real' gambling, so that would shake things up, but still potentially fall under the 18 rating. Still, gambling regulations would apply.

For the ESRB, an M rating is 17+, so if it's determined to be gambling (an 18+ activity), the games could instead be rated AO, preventing them from being sold in most places and basically being a death sentence for the game.

However, given that the ESRB is complicit in all this loot box nonsense, they'd probably create a new rating between M and AO. Actually, I bet that's exactly what will happen.

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TwoLines

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So by this rationale would capsule machines also be gambling targeting children? Collectible card games? Those loot crate things I see advertised online? Good for the Belgians though for opening this can of bullshit.

Well... yeah, kinda. All of those things stink. The only similar thing I liked, was the prizes inside chips or kinder surprise eggs because they're not the focus of what you're buying. They can leave those alone.

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deactivated-5ba16609964d9

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So wouldn't it be less scummy, still kinda scummy, and almost as profitable to let people buy what they actually want instead? I know myself wouldn't be opposed to occasionally paying for a cosmetic item or two if I could actually purchase what I wanted instead of paying for a slight chance I could get what I wanted.

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BradBrains

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#23  Edited By BradBrains

@zevvion said:
@thepanzini said:

Not sure how this would be the end of loot boxes just going from the wording 18+ games wouldn't count, unless they can prove their targeting minors and 'exactly what their purchasing' phrase could just be showing drop rates.

While we here are all adults who can assess whether we want to buy these lootcrates or no, these games are also available to children. If publishers want to prove they are not offering their games to children, they need to make their games 18+. The problem is that no developer wants their game to be 18+ rated. So this will likely be the end of lootboxes in all games, even the ones that are not specifically targeted towards children, because they still have access to it.

I worry it doesn't stop there though. I know it's been 20 years but the way the government sees games in general makes me not want give them the power to control it. Government hasn't changed that much.

I also feel the "think of the kids angle" is just using children as pawns because they don't like the system. It's the same thing people did with night trap 20 years ago [an adult game that didn't matter to the people involved]. Parental purchase controls already exist.

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Zevvion

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#24  Edited By Zevvion

@bradbrains: Oh I absolutely agree with that. I speak Dutch. The tone the Belgian news has on this issue is unfitting of the gaming medium. They are talking as if games are designed specifically for children and only or mostly children are interested in playing them. I know that people say: 'it's getting socially more accepted to play videogames', but I honestly never felt that was the case.

@bartok I had that discussion with someone else, and that is a scary future. Here is why: loot boxes work based on whales. 99 people are not interested in spending money at all, one person buys thousands worth of transactions. On a field of millions of players, it is a lot of revenue for the publisher. If they are moving to a model where that one person can buy the thing he wants for 50 bucks instead of thousands, the publisher will need the other 99 to spend money as well to make it work.

Don't think for a second that a company will see its additional revenue go down that much and not care. The problem is the other 99 players are not interested in spending money at all. The quickest way to deal with this is to force them to spend money. For example, they could sell you Darth Vader for 5 bucks. You can't earn him ingame, no matter how long you play. You want to play as him? You have to buy him.

I can totally see this happening. Games will still sell for 60, but to actually get the full thing, you have to buy 2 or 4 things on launch day for 5 bucks so you're actually out 70-80.

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BradBrains

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@zevvion said:

@bradbrains: Oh I absolutely agree with that. I speak Dutch. The tone the Belgian news has on this issue is unfitting of the gaming medium. They are talking as if games are designed specifically for children and only or mostly children are interested in playing them. I know that people say: 'it's getting socially more accepted to play videogames', but I honestly never felt that was the case.

I still think there is some truth to that but you have to remember government is still controlled by a lot of people who didn't really grow up in the era where that was true.

Obviously something needs to be done and there isn't an easy answer but I just don't trust this house to be the ones to do it. Though the big difference between now and then is there is a lot more money in the industry so I dont know if something extreme would be as accepted as it once was.

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deactivated-5e60e701b849a

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Belgium will try to ban loot boxes in Europe.

Only "try?" Good. Cause I don't want another country's politicians to tell me what I could and couldn't do in my fuckin' video games? "But think of the children!" Oh fuck off with that. If you're seriously worried about kids, then tell their parents to raise them better.

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Zevvion

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#27  Edited By Zevvion

Belgium will try to ban loot boxes in Europe.

Only "try?" Good. Cause I don't want another country's politicians to tell me what I could and couldn't do in my fuckin' video games? "But think of the children!" Oh fuck off with that. If you're seriously worried about kids, then tell their parents to raise them better.

While I agree with you politicians should stay away from videogames for the most part, I don't think this particular argument works. You can't say alcohol and drugs should be available to children and parents just need to raise their children better. Additionally, the idea that children won't do anything child-typical so long as they are programmed by their parents is a bit too convenient. I have never raised a child, but I sincerely doubt it works like that.

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deactivated-5e60e701b849a

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@zevvion: When we're talking about 'kids', how old kids are we talking about? 6 - 12 years old? 13 - 18 years old? Because, when you're in the 6 - 12 year group, pretty much the only money source you have is your parents. So even if you wanted to buy loot crates, you would have to ask your parents. If you're older, you might have a part time job or other source of income, but maybe it's just me, I don't think most teenagers would buy loot crates with their own money.

You're right though, parents are not the be all end all entities in a kid's life, but they have the money.

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Pete0r

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#29  Edited By Pete0r

Surely right now you can't directly buy blind boxes, you have to buy a currency in between? I can see that they want to put some regulation that sits between a credit card and the RNG, but I think it is fair for a company to offer something along the lines of 'prizes' for in game currency to help their revenue.

One way for them to curb the problem before ignorant politicians get up in arms would be to somehow put a spending limit on the loot crates, maybe only five a day or something and put the odds right up front of what you are going to get, ideally stripping out duplicates so that you're always given something new rather than $0.05 worth of 'crafting materials' for $1 investment.

This seems like a problem that has blown up suddenly because its cool to hate on EA this year while ignoring the presence of loot crates in dota, overwatch or pubg. Yes BF2's progression is fucked, and it should never have been pay to win, but if everyone had randomised unlock paths with no loot boxes you would still have the same problem of fighting people with different powers than you have access to.

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OurSin_360

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#30  Edited By OurSin_360

Well this was something that needed to be looked at internally in the games industry but there was so much money being made that nobody wanted to do it, now they reap what they sow and possible heavy handed government regulation is in sight(at a global level it appears too).

I personally don't mind loot boxes as long as they don't affect gameplay or give competitive edges , it's basically diablo except you can pay money to open your loot instead of grinding to beat a boss. I enjoyed them in the mass effect games but that was PVE and earning stuff was still fun to do. I also have never paid a cent to open a loot crate lol.

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nicksmi56

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Hopefully other places follow suit and force game companies to find a less scummy way to raise profit. Like oh, I don't know, making content actually worth paying extra for? Or just making an awesome product in general like other industries? ?

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Gaff

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@zevvion said:
@whatshisface said:

Belgium will try to ban loot boxes in Europe.

Only "try?" Good. Cause I don't want another country's politicians to tell me what I could and couldn't do in my fuckin' video games? "But think of the children!" Oh fuck off with that. If you're seriously worried about kids, then tell their parents to raise them better.

While I agree with you politicians should stay away from videogames for the most part, I don't think this particular argument works. You can't say alcohol and drugs should be available to children and parents just need to raise their children better. Additionally, the idea that children won't do anything child-typical so long as they are programmed by their parents is a bit too convenient. I have never raised a child, but I sincerely doubt it works like that.

Just a small note: Battlefront 2 is rated PEGI 16. This puts it firmly in the intended for and consumed by kids category.

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Dray2k

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@whatshisface: In law, there are terms for ages like this.

Children, in this case, means everyone who is not an adult, this means everyone who falls below the age of 18.

I'm fairly certain most european countries have similar rules. You only have restricted legal capacity between the age of 7 and 18 and thus a whole lot of laws apply to certain rules during certain cituations (such as house money, low wage work, etc).

If you're below 7 and you do a monetary transaction the parents simply get fined (or they simply have to give the goods back, the transaction is always unauthorized if the child is below the age of 7) once it has been proven because young children fall outside the restriction and aren't allowed to do anything with money, no matter what.

Children aren't allowed to gamble, so even if they buy loot boxes with the age of 17 with their own money (house money or otherwise), it thus still falls under general child protection laws.

But once you reach the age of 18, everything goes.

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eccentrix

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Are there other forms of gambling where you aren't trying to win money? I guess there are gambling games where you can buy digital money but can't cash out. Even in a real arcade, at least in the UK, machines that pay out cash are 18+ gambling machines, but claw machines where you're risking money to maybe get a stuffed toy aren't.

Someone touched on it earlier in this thread, but I've always liked the idea of blind boxes, I've just never found ones I've cared about enough to participate in. I was hoping a game I liked would have them in one day so I could get some enjoyment out of the concept.

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Nethlem

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Someone touched on it earlier in this thread, but I've always liked the idea of blind boxes, I've just never found ones I've cared about enough to participate in. I was hoping a game I liked would have them in one day so I could get some enjoyment out of the concept.


Imagine opening 100 Christmas/birthday presents, but only in 2 of them is stuff you'd actually want, the rest of them are filled with coal or socks.
There, saved you money and time ;)

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thomasnash

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@zevvion said:
@thepanzini said:

Not sure how this would be the end of loot boxes just going from the wording 18+ games wouldn't count, unless they can prove their targeting minors and 'exactly what their purchasing' phrase could just be showing drop rates.

While we here are all adults who can assess whether we want to buy these lootcrates or no, these games are also available to children. If publishers want to prove they are not offering their games to children, they need to make their games 18+. The problem is that no developer wants their game to be 18+ rated. So this will likely be the end of lootboxes in all games, even the ones that are not specifically targeted towards children, because they still have access to it.

To me this seems like an alright solution, really. I also think that requiring companies to display odds would be a reasonably good move. I do think that banning it all outright might be an overreach.

@zevvion said:

@bradbrains: Oh I absolutely agree with that. I speak Dutch. The tone the Belgian news has on this issue is unfitting of the gaming medium. They are talking as if games are designed specifically for children and only or mostly children are interested in playing them. I know that people say: 'it's getting socially more accepted to play videogames', but I honestly never felt that was the case.

@bartok I had that discussion with someone else, and that is a scary future. Here is why: loot boxes work based on whales. 99 people are not interested in spending money at all, one person buys thousands worth of transactions. On a field of millions of players, it is a lot of revenue for the publisher. If they are moving to a model where that one person can buy the thing he wants for 50 bucks instead of thousands, the publisher will need the other 99 to spend money as well to make it work.

Don't think for a second that a company will see its additional revenue go down that much and not care. The problem is the other 99 players are not interested in spending money at all. The quickest way to deal with this is to force them to spend money. For example, they could sell you Darth Vader for 5 bucks. You can't earn him ingame, no matter how long you play. You want to play as him? You have to buy him.

I can totally see this happening. Games will still sell for 60, but to actually get the full thing, you have to buy 2 or 4 things on launch day for 5 bucks so you're actually out 70-80.

Was saying something similar to a colleague earlier - the biggest isssue for me is that it's a model that protects itself from market correction - as long as the game has whales willing to throw money away on loot boxes, it doesn't matter if the rest of us consciously avoid it, games will still be designed around a progression that is less fun, to milk money from a minority of people who will be suckered into it.

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ThePanzini

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#37  Edited By ThePanzini

@zevvion: Best-selling games of 2016.

  1. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - Rated 18
  2. Battlefield 1 - Rated 18
  3. The Division - Mature 17 or above
  4. NBA 2K17 - Rated 10+
  5. Madden NFL 17 - Rated 8+
  6. Grand Theft Auto V - Rated 18+
  7. Overwatch (no Battle.net sales) - Rated 12+
  8. Call of Duty: Black Ops III - Rated 18+
  9. FIFA 17 - Rated 10+
  10. Final Fantasy XV - Rated 13+

Unlike movies an 18 rating in video games is not a death sentence and makes little difference in sales, the only games really affected would be sports but most gamers fall in the 19-34 age demographic anyway including Nintendo's it would be a largely pointless age gate.

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Batavist

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#38  Edited By Batavist

Well, the thing they want to ban (Belgium at least, trying on a European level) is buying lootboxes i.e. paying, with real world currency, for a random thing. Not the idea of lootboxes (with random rewards). Not pay-to-win, not progression behind a possibly second paywall. People seem confused about that.

The problem obviously is that all lootboxes and all random rewards by extension are getting a bad reputation. Legislation could probably easily be bypassed in a myriad of ways by developers. But as has been said the consequences of this whole debacle might be a lot worse if the mere sight or mention of a crate or box has a good chance of bringing a sour taste to consumers' mouths in the eyes of developers/publishers. That is probably too late anyway, new legislation or not. Let's not make the issue bigger nor misrepresent it.

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Cagliostro88

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@pete0r said:
...and put the odds right up front of what you are going to get...

Publishers refuse to accept even simple things like that. When China legislated that the percentages have to be clear before purchase of the loot-boxes, Activision-Blizzard with Overwatch simply switched to selling digital currency and "throwing in" loot boxes for free with it. They are totally unwillng to even put just the slightest adjustments to the model.

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Wemibelle

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@thepanzini: The AO rating actually is a death sentence in the U.S. as pretty much no retailer will stock those games in their store. Even Steam has started cracking down on visual novels with nudity patches, as that would technically push them into a more adult rating (even though they aren't actually ESRB-rated). It's stupid but that's how it works, sadly.

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Zevvion

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#41  Edited By Zevvion

@thepanzini said:

@zevvion: Best-selling games of 2016.

  1. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - Rated 18
  2. Battlefield 1 - Rated 18
  3. The Division - Mature 17 or above
  4. NBA 2K17 - Rated 10+
  5. Madden NFL 17 - Rated 8+
  6. Grand Theft Auto V - Rated 18+
  7. Overwatch (no Battle.net sales) - Rated 12+
  8. Call of Duty: Black Ops III - Rated 18+
  9. FIFA 17 - Rated 10+
  10. Final Fantasy XV - Rated 13+

Unlike movies an 18 rating in video games is not a death sentence and makes little difference in sales, the only games really affected would be sports but most gamers fall in the 19-34 age demographic anyway including Nintendo's it would be a largely pointless age gate.

Right, but 18+ games are still available to children is the point I was making. So long as children have access to these games, governments can use that fact to prohibit certain things in those games, even if they aren't intended for children. In order to actually remove it from children's availability, you'd have to restrict it in a way that makes it unreachable to kids. None of the games you have listed are rated AO or 21+. That is the typical gambling age restriction in most western countries what would be needed to do that.

Edit: You're right, I actually said it wrong. I said 18+, I meant 21+.

@thomasnash I am not in favor of microtransactions if I have a choice. But I honestly don't think that I do. It's either other people that fall for it and I don't (which is what we currently have) or it will be stuff forced upon me (which is what I fear we would move towards otherwise). I would take secret answer number 3 of 'give me the game for 60 bucks and everything in it; but I don't think that will ever be an option that is given to me.

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ThePanzini

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#42  Edited By ThePanzini

@zevvion: The AO rating for the ESRB is 18+ there is no 21+ classification and its a self regulatory system not backed by law in most countries. You can't even ban loot boxes EU wide as gambling is handled by each member state in Germany, France and the UK its 18+ and in Portugal its 21+ for its citizens but 18+ for foreign visitors and the same story for the US.

And the AO wouldn't effect Gamestop or Amazon who makeup the bulk of retail and with digital regulary hitting 50% it would be alot of effort for nothing, especially in a few years gaming would be 2/3 digital.

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Zevvion

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@thepanzini: That's the crux of my argument: 'these games are accessible by kids'. Any country is well within their right to ban gambling in something that is accessible to kids. Should they? I don't think so, but that wasn't my point. Casino's are by law not allowed to let people under 21 enter because it is a place where you gamble, even though you can also enter just to have drinks. Legislation could very well be passed to not let children under 21 play videogames that promote and feature gambling. Do I think this constitutes gambling? Not really, but this is where we are at.

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ThePanzini

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@zevvion: That's not a golden rule in US Las Vegas an under age person can entre a casino accompanied by an adult, now in the UK its more granular under age folks can't entre casino's/betting shops but can entre bingo halls and pubs that have slot machines and under 16's can gamble in arcades as long as the payout is less than £10.

Loot boxes maybe gambling but without a cash payout their not strictly so, though if some games are determined to be gambling Gamestop won't be branded a casino as no gambling takes place on the premises its more akin to a pub/restaurant where they would need a license to sell products/services to adults and kids are still free to entre.

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OpusOfTheMagnum

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Regulation is just so dangerous, I can't get down with this. In my opinion the market should work this out. EA may have done us a service releasing BF2 in the state it is in.

I also don't get the "for the kids!" angle. How many children are actually interacting with this stuff in a way that A) is anyone's responsibility but the parent's, B) has consequences for anyone but the parent (ie their bank account), or C) is in any way corrupting these kids? Parents shouldn't give their kids ways to do this crap. Don't put a credit card on their gaming platform, dont give them a tablet or phone until they are mature enough to handle it, and stay aware of what your kids are doing.

I really dislike this stuff in most games but I don't see this as anything but anti-consumer. Anyone who brings up kids in this just brings me back to all the other bullshit political exploitation of kids when there was no real connection.

If someone has information contrary to this belief let me know, because it's most built on logic and not something I have statistics for, maybe kids are doing all sorts of kinda gambling.

Long and short of it is I'm not comfortable with the doors this kind of regulation opens and I think the "protect the kids" argument on this is as much bullshit as it was with violence in games. Even more so because ultimately kids don't have a ton of means to interact with this stuff without express involvement with an adult short of stealing mom's card from her purse or whatever.

This is a consumer issue not a social issue and I hope the market deals with it here in the states rather than the government.

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EthanielRain

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EA just won "hottest mess", congrats. Again.

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dstopia

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#47  Edited By dstopia

@opusofthemagnum said:

This is a consumer issue not a social issue and I hope the market deals with it here in the states rather than the government.

It's as much of a social issue as gambling is.

I understand people being wary of government regulation but you can't just have predatory practices in the wild like this. If there's a legal way to exploit people's self-damaging tendencies, private companies will exploit them. It might not be all of them, but SOMEONE definitely will, and that will keep on happening until someone steps in, and the only one who can do it is the government.

Self-regulation never works. Whoever thinks it does has not paid enough attention to the history of mankind. It's not rocket science. You can bring up all the "ethical lootboxes" examples you want, but as long as the possibility is there for predatory practices to arise, someone will do it.

Otherwise, let's just legalize Ponzi schemes and all sorts of fraud like that, after all, the market will self-regulate, yeah? It makes absolutely no sense.

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mikemcn

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#48  Edited By mikemcn

@opusofthemagnum said:

This is a consumer issue not a social issue and I hope the market deals with it here in the states rather than the government.

The market won't deal with it so long as it generates profits for the companies. Do you see cigarette use as a purely consumer issue? They would be far more abundant if not for regulation and anti-cigarette legislation.

It's wrong for companies to take advantage of addictive behavior in people to make money, that all there is to it, don't defend these companies just because you don't suffer from compulsions. The "market" will never deal with it, we've had years of microtransactions in mobile games with broader reach than Battlefront ever would have had and they haven't gone away but they have hurt alot of people and made games worse.

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deactivated-5a923fc7099e3

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The free market is great but there always needs to be regulation to avoid businesses from using bad sales practises. It is naive to think that a market will regulate itself when it comes to this stuff.

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@bdead said:

The free market is great but there always needs to be regulation to avoid businesses from using bad sales practises. It is naive to think that a market will regulate itself when it comes to this stuff.

Exactly, this shitstorm is the result of free market and hands-off approach.

As for the "you don't win money, therefore not gamling" -argument: betting money for a chance of a prize = gambling. Casinos sometimes also offer grand prizes that are not straight-up cash, such as cars or vacation vouchers, but it's still gambling.