Microsoft, along with Sony and Nintendo, are working on new policies as platform holders to disclose loot box odds. The controversial reward system has been criticised as of late, and even banned in some countries, leading to them being removed. Around half a year later, more concrete plans are being put in place to help clarify what rewards loot boxes will provide.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has revealed the initiative through a panel by the Federal Trade Commission. The ESA’s chief counsel of tech policy; Michael Warnecke, said “I’m pleased to announce this morning that Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have indicated to ESA a commitment to new platform policies with respect to the use of paid loot boxes in games that are developed for their platform.”
Although this is a far cry from removing and banning loot boxes from games, it is a step towards being transparent with consumers about them. Some games certainly appear more stingy in giving out random rewards, so it will be interesting to see the odds. That’s not to say that publishers couldn’t change the odds before these disclosure promises come into practice however…
Microsoft has dabbled in the loot box craze as a publisher, with recent entries in the Forza, Gears and Halo series’ all featuring some form of random reward. Steps appear to be in place to tone these down in the future, as Gears 5 will not contain any form of paid loot boxes. If this move gains good press, it wouldn’t be surprising to also see Halo: Infinite remove any form of paid loot box as well.
The ESA has further explained the situation in a blog post, which speaks about previous efforts to explain loot boxes and how the new changes will further these efforts. Would knowing the odds deter you from buying a loot box?