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EA and Star Wars leads to governments looking to get loot crates under control.

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I’m anti micro transactions anything. So loot boxes fall into that even if they’re purely cosmetic items and skins. I’m not against having unlockable or random drops of these items, just that they’re often sold, and with random chance i.e. gambling. 

Remove the whole thing of buying the boxes and I don’t see how it’s different from grinding for drops in Destiny or Borderlands or any other RPG. 

In short Overwatch does it better than most by staying cosmetic, I just disagree with them allowing for people to pay additional money beyond their original purchase price, for a chance at a skin being perceived as rare due to artificial drop rates. 

 

Also, in years past, skins and shit like that were often just made for free by modding communities. 

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Loot boxes are complete arse. Charging you for something, cosmetic or otherwise is fine, but selling the chance to maybe win something you want is terrible, and an underhand practice in my opinion.

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Reggie weighs in on loot boxes.

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Reggie: “Loot boxes, broadly speaking, have gotten a bit of a bad rap. The game mechanic of buying something that you’re not sure what’s inside is as old as baseball cards. What we believe at Nintendo is that a gameplay mechanic that offers the consumer something to buy that they’re not sure what’s inside can be interesting as long as that’s not the only way you can get those items. And that’s where some developers have made some mistakes. For us, its one of many mechanics we can use to drive on-going engagement in the game.”

 

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Loot boxes suck, no matter if you can grind in-game to get items.

Their very existence enables gambling to kids and that should be prohibited.

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Reggie weighs in on loot boxes.
Reggie: “Loot boxes, broadly speaking, have gotten a bit of a bad rap. The game mechanic of buying something that you’re not sure what’s inside is as old as baseball cards. What we believe at Nintendo is that a gameplay mechanic that offers the consumer something to buy that they’re not sure what’s inside can be interesting as long as that’s not the only way you can get those items. And that’s where some developers have made some mistakes. For us, its one of many mechanics we can use to drive on-going engagement in the game.”
 
By their own reasoning then Star Wars Battlefront 2 lootbox implementation was interesting as you could get the loot without paying too.

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There's been some interesting developments in regards to microtransactions and lootboxes. With Belgium banning them from games developers have had to take them out of their games or face being charged with breaking the law. 2K games are obviously worried about it as they tweeted this out in an effort to get fans behind them.

 

EA think they are above the law and are trying to release FIFA with Ultimate Team card packs still in the game. This has lead to this...

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The Belgium Government has launched a criminal investigation against EA due to the publisher’s refusal to modify FIFA lootboxes.

After the Belgium Gaming Commission ruled that lootboxes present in FIFA 18, Overwatch, and CS: Global Offensive were in violation with the Belgian Gambling Laws, the Commission threatened with huge fines and imprisonment if a publisher failed to comply with the country’s gambling laws. Publishers of the games in question were given 8 weeks to implement changes before enforcement actions would be taken.

“Paid loot boxes aren’t an inoffensive component of games which act like games that require skill”, director of the Belgian Gaming Commission, Peter Naessens, said back in April of this year. “Players are being tempted and misguided and none of the protective measures for gambling are being applied.”

While 2K Games, Blizzard and Valve, already took measures to comply with Belgium’s gambling laws, EA has denied that lootboxes in FIFA are in violation and has done nothing to comply with the country’s gambling laws. As such, the publisher is now under criminal investigation.

According to Belgium publication Metro, EA has already received a warrant, and the file has been sent to Brussel’s public prosecutor’s office.

Jim Sterling put out a video about it yesterday evening.

He makes a cracking point about the developers/publishers who say that microtransactions are needed to help speed up progress in their games. He simply points out that if that is the case then their games are badly designed.

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A survey of over 7,000 gamers has found "important links between loot box spending and problem gambling".

Undertaken by the Australian Environment and Communications Reference Committee (ECRC), the survey was sparked in response to a academic journal article published in Nature Human Behaviour, titled 'Video game loot boxes are psychologically akin to gambling'.

Zendle and Cairns' investigation found the more severe an individual's gambling addiction, the more they typically spent on loot boxes, suggesting the results support claims that loot boxes are "psychologically akin to gambling".

The report added that "these results also suggest that there is a serious risk for loot boxes to cause gambling-related harm".

Considering the survey findings, it was recommended that games containing loot boxes carry parental advisories and a description that clearly state the presence of "in-game gambling content".

Additionally, restricting the sale of games that contain loot boxes to players of the legal gambling age should be given "serious consideration".

Good stuff.

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Holy crap, that Harry Potter mobile game example in the video above actually made me feel a little ill. That has to qualify as evil.

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EA backs down from Belgium.

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After further discussions with the Belgian authorities, we have decided to stop offering FIFA Points for sale in Belgium. We’re working to make these changes effective in our FIFA console and PC games by January 31, 2019. This means that players in Belgium will not be able to purchase points to obtain FIFA Ultimate Team packs. Players still can access Ultimate Team and play with their existing players. All content in the game can be earned through gameplay, as has always been the case, and players can continue to use coins and the in-game transfer market. Any players in Belgium that have existing FIFA Points in their accounts can continue to use them, but they will not be able to purchase more. We apologize to our players in Belgium for any inconvenience caused by this change.

We seek to bring choice, fairness, value and fun to our players in all our games. In addition to providing players options in how they play, we include pack probabilities in our games for the transparency players want to make informed content choices. While we are taking this action, we do not agree with Belgian authorities’ interpretation of the law, and we will continue to seek more clarity on the matter as we go forward. The impact of this change to FIFA Ultimate Team in Belgium is not material to our financial performance.

 

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we do not agree with Belgian authorities’ interpretation of the law

Fuck off, EA.

Hope this will spark a fire that will engulf all of the EU and eventually the world. Long way to go, but it may be a start.

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Thanks for the vid, @S.C.G. Jim on point, as always.

I was happy to see him make the point about Iwata taking a pay cut. Truly a man of the people and a man that is sorely missed in the industry. :( 

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