Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft appear to be shuffling away from blind box loot boxes with a commitment to ensure games on their platforms disclose the drop rates from loot boxes in future titles.
The video game industry body, the Entertainment Software Association, announced a new initiative on Wednesday at a workshop dedicated to the ongoing issues around loot boxes. This announcement detailed the move by the worlds three big console manufacturers with a number of other developers and publishers also on board to follow suit.
Who’s Joining The Party
The big three are joined by companies like Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Bethesda, Bungie, EA, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros., and Wizards of the Coast. These cover some of the biggest games on the internet already and while this sort of commitment from companies like EA and Blizzard could make a massive impact, the three console manufacturers inclusion means that any new game that wants to appear on the Xbox One, Playstation 4, or Nintendo Switch will need to disclose the drop rates in any in-game loot boxes. This change also impacts game updates that introduce loot boxes.
More detail on the ESA announcement can be found over on a recent ESA blog which states that
“As an industry, we take our role in this conversation seriously. We plan to underscore to the FTC our industry’s deep connection to our community and shared desire to work with policymakers, parents, and players to provide the information they need for a positive game experience. This includes the important work the industry has done to create robust parental controls.”
We have yet to see how these parental controls will be put in place or this information communicated in practice yet. While several games are required to disclose loot rates in eastern territories games manufacturers have given no confirmation how this information will be disseminated and it is unlikely that these changes will be quite as transparent as the x-Ray system expected to hit Rocket League soon.
For now, its still the house that wins. Let us know if you think this is a big enough step by the ESA?