dark        
spacer

Loot boxes aren't considered gambling, claims ESRB

0

No betting, means no cause for harm then, right?

The first major appearance of loot boxes in the western marketplace was in September 2010, when Valve transitioned Team Fortress 2 from a pay-once model to a free-to-play model. Players could earn "crates" that could be opened with purchasable keys, and since then, this model has evolved and become extremely popular in the marketplace -- regardless of the game's price.

The practice ranges from simply offering cosmetic items, such as the case with Overwatch, to potentially giving an edge early into the launch of the game's multiplayer, which many are now criticizing the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront II for allowing. Games like Battlefront II and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor have resulted in players voicing their concerns on how far the line is being blurred between microtransactions and what many are now considering straight-up gambling.

Due to these recent events, loot boxes have quickly become a point of contention for many, including for other notable online figures such as John “Totalbiscuit” Bain, who recently made a video regarding the topic, calling for the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to classify loot boxes as gambling.

Certain review aggregation websites, such as OpenCritic, are even looking now to add filters to warn and inform potential customers of games utilizing these types of transactions and paid content.

However, in an e-mail to Kotaku, the ESRB doesn't exactly agree. A representative had this to say on the subject:

"ESRB does not consider loot boxes to be gambling. While there’s an element of chance in these mechanics, the player is always guaranteed to receive in-game content (even if the player unfortunately receives something they don’t want). We think of it as a similar principle to collectible card games: Sometimes you’ll open a pack and get a brand new holographic card you’ve had your eye on for a while. But other times you’ll end up with a pack of cards you already have."

Basically, their argument boils down to the fact that players aren't necessarily betting real currency or their own money in these games for this to be considered gambling. But, many within the gaming community are still comparing loot boxes to that of slot machines, in regards to how they function.

With video game development becoming more expensive, and the average AAA game costing in the millions, publishers are going to look for every possible opportunity to make a return on their investment -- there's no avoiding that. That said, it'll be interesting to see how this pans out in the coming months, maybe even years, if the ESRB (or someone else?) attempts to make regulations in regards to this nature of transaction within the video game industry.

ESRB Says It Doesn't See 'Loot Boxes' As Gambling [Kotaku]


You are logged out. Login | Sign up

 
 

 

TwitterRedditEmailFacebook
 
Dan Roemer
Dan RoemerContributor   gamer profile

Dan Roemer unironically likes pop-punk, collects old gaming magazines, and writes about video games. He's been enjoying and dabbling in Destructoid content since 2014. His life goals are pretty ... more + disclosures


 



Also on destructoid: Star Wars Battlefront II   (55)   From our database:

  • Next week's Last Jedi content for Star Wars Battlefront II looks decent enough - Jordan Devore
  • Star Wars Battlefront II has upped its credit payouts - Jordan Devore
  • Today's Star Wars Battlefront II patch is mostly small fixes - Jordan Devore
  • Review: Star Wars Battlefront II - Jordan Devore
  • PC deal: coupon takes 25% off Battlefront II, 36% off Injustice 2 - Dealzon
  • EA has temporarily disabled microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II - Jordan Devore
  • Review in Progress: Star Wars Battlefront II - Jordan Devore
  • EA will be holding an AMA on Reddit about Star Wars Battlefront II tomorrow - Peter Glagowski
  • Europe gets a free PS Plus weekend ahead of Battlefront II launch - Peter Glagowski
  • More related stories
    Filed under... #Activision #EA Sports #Electronic Arts #free #Online #PlayStation Plus #PS Plus #PS4 #PS4 Pro #Sony Computer Entertainment #Spend the weekend

    READER COMMENTS LOADING BELOW...


    LET'S KEEP THE COMMUNITY GREAT


    You're not expected to always agree, but do please keep cool and never make it personal. Report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community team. Also, on the right side of a comment you can flag nasty comments anonymously (we ban users dishing bad karma). For everything else, contact us!



     
     
  •