Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo Unite to Tackle Gaming’s Biggest Problem

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Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, the three leading console brands, have together launched a joint initiative to make loot boxes more straightforward towards the users. This subjects to the practice that any publisher who wants to include loots boxes in their game will have to openly disclose the drop rates of the various kinds of items based on their rarity that is included in the box.  

In a statement, the ESA said a couple of things –

  • “The video game industry relies on creating and sustaining relationships with our players based on fun, but just as importantly on trust”
  • “One of the hallmarks of our industry is that we don’t just create entertainment value for our players, we listen to them.
  • “The major console makers […] are committing to new platform policies that will require paid loot boxes in games developed for their platforms to disclose information on the relative rarity or probability of obtaining randomized virtual items. These required disclosures will also apply to game updates if the update adds new loot box features.” 

Although the initiative has been decided, the precise date of its employment is yet to be finalized, but it is most likely to be seen in 2020. 

Nintendo in a conversation with Eurogamers provided these statements –

  • “Ensuring that our customers can make informed choices when they play our games is very important,”
  • “As part of our ongoing efforts in this area, Nintendo will require disclosure of drop rates in Nintendo Switch games that offer randomized virtual items for purchase, such as loot boxes.”

Sony also made their remark on the matter, to Eurogamers

  • “We support industry efforts to disclose the probability of obtaining randomized virtual items, known as loot boxes, and are committed to providing consumers with this information for all games we produce and publish,”

Loot boxes have been an important aspect both among the players and the publisher. For the players, it comes as the secondary form of attraction apart for the games main content and also raises their expectations for the game. On the other hand for the publishers, it might cause an unfavorable condition, given to the fact that the loot box system is so much messed up in the majority of the games. 

Psyonix has taken a step to avoid complications in obtaining cosmetic items by withdrawing loot boxes and replacing it by direct purchase of items from the store.

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