ESRB says lootboxes in video games are not gambling

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ESRB says lootboxes in video games are not gambling

Postby Triert » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:36 am

Whereas the rest of the world where this is a problem, you have countries regulating these practices in mobage's.

I've read online that publishers themselves keep the ESRB afloat, isn't this a textbook case of collusion?

Honestly, pokemon removed gambling for less.

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Re: ESRB says lootboxes in video games are not gambling

Postby chaoadventures » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:24 am

i quite honestly don't understand why anyone would want to even bother spending time opening boxes of texture recolors so much to begin with though

as in

why would anyone pay for this, all you can get is garbage

I miss the Game Corner though, best part was buying coins directly for a TM or Porygon. And then they took that option out and brought in Voltorb Flip.

---

Actually, the "simulated gambling" added to the current rating of Gold and Silver doesn't even raise it past "E".
I'm less concerned about loot boxes, and more about ESRB's consistency as a whole.

But it's not like more than 5 people read the ratings, let alone the descriptions, anyways.
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Re: ESRB says lootboxes in video games are not gambling

Postby Triert » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:38 am

"why would anyone do this"

if you need an example, look at gambling

some people want a specific skin, but they can't just simply buy it, and developers have no obligation to let it happen. That's bullcrap, and with more games doing this these developers finally had their wings get burnt by the sun.

the ESRB defending them is completely crap on top of it

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Re: ESRB says lootboxes in video games are not gambling

Postby Nano » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:25 am

I do it cause I have disposable income and wanna have fun. I find lootboxes, when priced right, to be a really fun thing to do from time to time. Not every week buying them, but every few months just getting a bunch and seeing how my luck works itself out.

That being said, it is gambling. I don't buy a ton of lootboxes thinking to myself "Oh boy I can't wait to do this not gambling".
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Re: ESRB says lootboxes in video games are not gambling

Postby chaoadventures » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:46 am

Triert wrote:"why would anyone do this"

if you need an example, look at gambling

some people want a specific skin, but they can't just simply buy it, and developers have no obligation to let it happen. That's bullcrap, and with more games doing this these developers finally had their wings get burnt by the sun.

the ESRB defending them is completely crap on top of it

well yes but the difference is

real gambling theoretically gets you money with the potential to get more money by continuing and buy the things of your choice with your earnings from it

loot crates get you useless skins and other such cosmetics that are (90% of the time) nonredeemable for another shot at the "reskin lottery" or a superior end product and lack useful qualities within the game (usually/hopefully)

What I'm getting at is, the potential payout of crates is worse than a normal lottery, and I feel like games that use this system should have died out by now, but somehow have actually gained prominence.
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Re: ESRB says lootboxes in video games are not gambling

Postby Jeffery Mewtamer » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:43 am

I've never played a game with loot boxes, but they play into the same mentality that has kids feeding their entire allowances one quarter at a time into vending machines that spit out cheap plastic trinkets in hopes of getting the cheap plastic trinket they really want or putting down a few bucks a pop for trading card booster packs in hopes of finding that one rare card, both of which have been treated as child friendly forms of gambling since my parents(born 1942 and 1948) were kids if not longer. Granted, really rare trading cards can go for hundreds if they are in pristine condition, but most kids aren't thinking potential resell value at a future date, and said cards are only so valueable because there are collectors willing to pay that much to skip sifting through dozens of card packs(and generally, if you want complete sets, you're better off buying by the box than the pack).

And technically, in the broadest sense of the word, any game featuring a random number generator contains gambling.

As for the ESRB, pretty much all extant content labeling systems are crap. Most miss the point by focusing on arbitrary age lines instead of informing consumers of content, and even when they try the latter, content descriptors are often vague to the point of uselessness or are printed in easily missed fine print that often isn't even visible on things that stores keep in locked display cases.
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Re: ESRB says lootboxes in video games are not gambling

Postby Annadog40 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:55 am

Claw machines in their current state are gambling.

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Re: ESRB says lootboxes in video games are not gambling

Postby azureprism » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:16 pm

chaoadventures wrote:I miss the Game Corner though, best part was buying coins directly for a TM or Porygon. And then they took that option out and brought in Voltorb Flip.

---

Actually, the "simulated gambling" added to the current rating of Gold and Silver doesn't even raise it past "E".
I'm less concerned about loot boxes, and more about ESRB's consistency as a whole.

They had to change it because of changes in gambling laws throughout Europe - if they kept the Game Corners the series' age ratings over there would have gone up as a result. Presumably, that's also why every game since Gen V has lacked them. Still, the Game Corners weren't anywhere as bad as lootboxes are. It's not like people were blowing real money on some chance crap, not to mention you don't have much control over the latter.

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Re: ESRB says lootboxes in video games are not gambling

Postby Nano » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:15 pm

chaoadventures wrote:
Triert wrote:"why would anyone do this"

if you need an example, look at gambling

some people want a specific skin, but they can't just simply buy it, and developers have no obligation to let it happen. That's bullcrap, and with more games doing this these developers finally had their wings get burnt by the sun.

the ESRB defending them is completely crap on top of it

well yes but the difference is

real gambling theoretically gets you money with the potential to get more money by continuing and buy the things of your choice with your earnings from it

loot crates get you useless skins and other such cosmetics that are (90% of the time) nonredeemable for another shot at the "reskin lottery" or a superior end product and lack useful qualities within the game (usually/hopefully)

What I'm getting at is, the potential payout of crates is worse than a normal lottery, and I feel like games that use this system should have died out by now, but somehow have actually gained prominence.


I won't disagree that the potential payout 9/10 is gonna be worse than if you went to a casino and gambled, but I wanna say that what you're talking about is specifically Overwatch's lootboxes. Overwatch has lootboxes that you cannot trade the contents of no matter what you do, in fact most all of Blizzard's games bar a few don't let you trade or sell your items. Most every other game however is the complete opposite, where you can sell anything you want from the boxes to make a fraction back of what you paid for it, lessening the amount you'd have to put in again to roll again.

Most lootboxes are puerly cosmetic as well, in order to ensure nobody feels like they have to pay to get the best things in the game, but some games will reward you with special items that have special little tweaks to them (Especially in f2p games). I think ultimately, lootboxes provide cosmetic rather than gameplay elements to shield them from critics, but even then people are catching on.

The new Shadow of War game released a bit ago and contains lootboxes. A $60 game comes with the ability to gamble money for extra content. Personally, I think that's all sorts of messed up, and very blatantly trying to scam money from people gullible enough to buy it (Which is ironic cause I paid $60 for Overwatch so that I could also buy lootboxes).
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Re: ESRB says lootboxes in video games are not gambling

Postby retrolinkx » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:40 am

^

You don't get the have a say in this because you've spent over $400 on lootboxes.
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Re: ESRB says lootboxes in video games are not gambling

Postby Nano » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:31 am

How do you guys feel about gachapon games? Stuff like Sif (love live mobile game), fire emblem mobile game, dragon ball z dokkan, etc. The games where you pull cards and characters using in game money (which you can buy) to get powerful tools for the game depending on their rarity? You'll often sink far more than the $400 I spent on ow.
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Re: ESRB says lootboxes in video games are not gambling

Postby Triert » Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:34 am

I'd say Nano's free to give his input like a recovering drug addict giving a speech to high schoolers would.

Also, that's not entirely true. Games like those hunt for whales that dump thousands of dollars in them.

By comparison those have had crackdowns that the US could learn from. Especially considering the fact that you can always use what you don't want in these games, burn it for more credits to get something you would want? **** if I know what I'm talking about, but it sounds better than Overwatch where it took the anniversary event being filled with a lot of rare skins, the entire fanbase erupting in rage over poor luck after buying lootboxes for them, and blizzard deciding to pacify everyone by making duplicates less common all around. That entire moment felt stupid, the Uprising event a month before it felt like more of an anniversary than that cashgrab did.

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Re: ESRB says lootboxes in video games are not gambling

Postby Jeffery Mewtamer » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:49 am

Just out of curiosity, but how prone are games that lock content behind loot boxes that have to be bought with real money to being hacked to get free loot and the hackers releasing tools that allow almost anyone to do so?

Anyways, while I'm okay with in-game loot being as close to truly random as computers can manage, I agree that if I'm going to pay real money for what amounts to virtual trading cards, some artificial limits on randomness would be nice, even if its nothing more than a guarantee of 1 rare and 2 or 3 uncommons in a pack of ten and buying multiple packs in a single go having no duplicates unless the number of individual items exceeds the number in a complete set(and no triplicates unless exceeding the size of two complete sets).

Also, I'm generally of the opinion that people have the right to spend their money how they wish, and the problem isn't so much that games utilyzing this business model exist so much as it only taking a relative handful of consumers willing to put down big bucks to make games utilyzing this model to be profitable whereas games with a set price point often need to sell millions just to break even, and sadly, for every cash grab used to fund a designer's passion project, there's probably a dozen or more lining the pockets of executives who had no part in the creative process. If I found myself playing a game that gives the choice between gridning and paying for the best equipment and the coolest accessories, I'd probably choose grinding if I thought the game worth playing at all, and I'd go without or find another game for those with pay exclusive content, but not paying is essentially a null vote in the market place and its hard to vote for alternatives when those who buy into the disliked model are essentially pouring all their excess income into such games.
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Re: ESRB says lootboxes in video games are not gambling

Postby Triert » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:29 am

The people at the top line their pockets and then you'll find people around our level defending this practice with "let people choose how to spend their money." But these people have been ignoring the issue that this is a growing problem, not one that's letting people ignore it anymore.

These aren't lootboxes, they're skinner boxes.


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