The Entertainment Software Association has revealed the three major players within the video game industry — Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony — have agreed to require games with paid loot boxes to include the chances of winning randomized in-game items from them, the Entertainment Software Association announced Wednesday.
Michael Warnecke, the ESA’s chief counsel of tech policy, made the announcement during a workshop on loot boxes hosted by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
“Specifically, this would apply to new games and game updates that add loot box features,” Warnecke continued. “And it would require the disclosure of the relative rarity or probabilities of obtaining randomized virtual items on their platforms.”
In addition to Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, the ESA pointed out Activision Blizzard, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Bethesda and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to name a few of the major publishers to begin disclosing odds by 2020’s end, with more to come.
Some notable developers that haven’t made the commitment are developers such as 505 Games, Capcom, CI Games, Deep Silver, Disney Interactive Studios, Epic Games, Focus Home Interactive, Gearbox Publishing, GungHo, Intellivision Entertainment, Kalypso, Konami, Magic Leap, NCsoft, Natsume, Nexon, Rebellion, Riot Games, Sega, Square Enix, THQ Nordic, Tencent and Marvelous.
This is a defensive move from the video game industry, trying to self-govern a controversial monetization system before actual laws step in. But many publishers have already moved away from loot boxes, especially after Star Wars: Battlefront II angered players in 2017 with a loot box-dependent progression system. Just yesterday, Rocket League announced that it will be getting rid of its loot boxes.