Every since games have made Loot Boxes commonplace, gamers everywhere are learning the frustration of getting little return, and without any idea of what the odds are to get something good.
This time, it's China coming through in the clutch with a new law that requires game developers to publish the probability of getting items from Loot Boxes. While this most obviously applies to games like #Overwatch and #CSGO, it also could apply to #Hearthstone who uses randomization to determine cards from packs, as well as #LeagueOfLegends who uses a crafting system involving randomization for creating skins.
The two relevant sections of the law are copied below:
"Online game publishers shall promptly publicly announce information about the name, property, content, quantity, and draw/forge probability of all virtual items and services that can be drawn/forge on the official website or a dedicated draw probability webpage of the game. The information on draw probability shall be true and effective."
"Online game publishers shall publicly announce the random draw results by customers on notable places of official website or in game, and keep record for government inquiry. The record must be kept for more than 90 days. When publishing the random draw results, some measures should be taken place to protect user privacy."
With gambling laws as they are in the world, it's strange that this type of law hasn't been enacted already, especially in the wake of the 'Counter-Strike: Global Offensive' betting scandal. But now we'll finally know what we're getting from Boxes.
China is a huge market for publishers, and if they want to keep distributing games in China, they'll have to provide the odds of getting items in Loot Boxes. China is often the country who will ban video games rather than pass sweeping video game reform, but this time it seems the rest of the world owes China a debt of gratitude.
While the law only directly applies to China, it quite obviously will impact the rest of the gaming landscape—everyone will be able to find out the odds of opening good loot from their Boxes. Unless publishers decide to change the rates for Loot Boxes specifically in China only (scum bag move!), it will be very convenient for gamers to know what they are opting into.
It also opens for the possibility for gamers to pick games based on what the Loot Box drop rates are; or more likely just set their internet pitchforks on whatever companies have Loot Boxes with "unfair" drop rates.
No matter the case, this is great news for gamers everywhere since we'll all know how likely we are to get that sweet Torbjorn Santa skin when the Overwatch holiday event rolls out next week.
What do you think about Loot Boxes in games?