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Posts tagged “loot boxes”

UK should regulate loot boxes as gambling, House Of Lords report recommends

The UK government should regulate loot boxes in video games under gambling law as games of chance, and soon, a Select Committee of the House Of Lords have recommended. They also advised proactively future-proofing laws against other gambling-esque elements that might arise to replace loot boxes, so laws don't again end up years behind. Loot boxes have been around a good decade by now, after…

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You can now buy Warhammer 40k stickers for your Counter-Strike guns

In the grim darkness of the near future, there is only De_dust2. But look further ahead and- oh! There it is! Only war. Now look back to the present and find the two have come together in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with new Warhammer 40,000 stickers now sold to slap on your virtual guns. CS's stickers have always been a bit 'teenager bunkbed' so frankly I…

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has new Half-Life stickers, pins, and patches

Most of us may lack the cybergoggles necessary to jack into Half-Life: Alyx today, but we can carry a bit of Alyx over into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Over the weekend, Valve added new Half-Life-y stickers to slap on guns, patches to slap on uniforms, and badges to display in your profile. Some of them are cute! Unfortunately, they're obtained through nasty little loot boxes -…

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NHS boss accuses loot boxes of pushing “under the radar” gambling at kids

Buckle up, 2020. It's time to wade neck-deep back into the never-ending loot box discourse. The latest contributor to the debate around videogame mystery boxes is NHS Mental health director Claire Murdoch, who joins the growing chorus of officials calling for surprise mechanics to be regulated under UK gambling laws. In a report released earlier today, Murdoch condemned the industry of pushing young people into…

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Rocket League’s new Blueprints are too expensive, but still better than loot boxes

Last Wednesday, Rocket League did away with loot boxes. You'd think that would be cause for celebration, but developers Psyonix have replaced them with Blueprints that many players consider overpriced. The short version is that yeah, they are, but it's more important that this replaces an exploitative model that profits from obsessional gamblers doing themselves serious harm. For the longer version, we need to descend…

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Valve block Counter-Strike loot key reselling to fight money laundering

From today, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's loot box keys can no longer be resold on Steam's marketplace. Valve are putting a lock on their keys because of the global gangs of evil-doers who were using the keys to launder money. From now on, any key bought will be bound to the purchaser's account.

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Loot boxes should be regulated under gambling laws, Children’s Commissioner recommends

The Children's Commissioner for England, an official but independent role advocating for children's rights and interests, has recommended that the government control loot boxes under gambling laws. This week the Commissioner's office published a report into the experiences of kiddywinkles who play games online, with a few action points. After talking with kids, it recognises a lot of good they get from games but is…

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Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare replaces paid DLC and loot boxes with a Battle Pass

It's taken a few years longer than most big publishers, but Activision are finally turning away from paid DLC map packs for the next Call Of Duty. New maps and modes will hit Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare free for all players, the CoD crew announced last night. Loot boxes are also being ripped out, replaced with the new hotness of a Battle Pass system…

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Rocket League lays out plans to banish loot boxes while French CS:GO preemptively dodges gambling regulation

It's a lively day in box news. In the one corner, we have Rocket League developers Psyonix laying out their plans to get rid of 'em. Crates will be replaced with "Blueprints" for specific cosmetics, which you can leave laying about your inventory until you forget about them or choose to cough up. In the other corner, we have Valve, changing how CS:GO loot crates…

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Regulate loot boxes under gambling law, Parliament committee recommends

A UK Parliament committee have recommended that the government declare certain types of loot box to be games of chance which must be regulated under gambling laws. That's one of the recommendations the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee published today in their report on "immersive and addictive technologies," the result of months of talking with members of the industry, academia, and public. This…

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NBA 2K20’s loot box-y MyTeam mode even has faux gambling machines

It's quite clear that many games with loot boxes are cribbing from the design and psychology of gambling machines, but it's rare to see this as brazen as in NBA 2K20. For the MyTeam mode (similar to Fifa Ultimate Team) of their next b-ball 'em up, they're going all-in with slot machines, pachinko, and even a spinny prize wheel. Players can't pay money to play…

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Apex Legends making Iron Crown event loot system less grubby after breaking promise

Respawn Entertainment have said that Apex Legends event loot boxes "broke [their] promise" of trying to "do monetisation in a way that felt fair." The new Iron Crown event whammed a load of new cosmetic doodads into loot boxes, and the most elusive was only available if you got all the others first. Our boy Brendan noted that it "feels grubby," and it does. Now…

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Major developers will disclose odds on loot boxes in effort to avoid government regulation

Publishers including Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft vow to disclose the odds governing loot boxes within their games, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) have announced. The three main console manufacturers will also require games on their systems to reveal odds, which should have a knock-on benefit for us here on PC too. This news came yesterday, on a day when the US Federal Trade…

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Valve address market-crashing Team Fortress 2 hat glitch

Last week, famous hat-collection game Team Fortress 2 suffered from an influx of Unusual hats. These particular cosmetics drop rarely in TF2’s loot boxes, and are equipped with particle effects, making your Scout or Pyro or whoever look especially fancy. They’re also big-ticket items in the Steam trading economy. Or, they were, until a glitch meant they were guaranteed to appear in certain loot boxes,…

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Team Fortress 2 item traders panicking as loot box ‘glitch’ crashes market

An apparent Team Fortress 2 glitch seems to be making certain rare items far more common than usual, those 'Unusual' items with unique particle effects. If you want some pretty particles, now's a great time for you. But because TF2 is part of the sprawling Steam economy of trading, hoarding, and selling items as much as it is a multiplayer FPS, this is sparking panic…

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Gears Of War sound less of a loot box chore

It's clear the tide of loot boxes and map packs is turning when expensive big-studio games feel a need to defensively shout "I didn't fuck it up!" before launch. The latest to declare "I might not have royally muffed it!" is Gears Of War 5, which I keep forgetting is coming to PC because I keep forgetting Gears still exists. It came, it was fun,…

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EA: “We don’t call them loot boxes”, they’re “surprise mechanics”

Brace yourself. It is once again time to talk about boxes. When questioned yesterday by the UK government's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, the vice president of EA's legal and government affairs insisted on describing loot boxes as "surprise mechanics". I read her language choice as partly a doomed attempt to move away from the stigma attached to loot boxes, and partly to do…

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US senators propose bill to legislate loot boxes and “pay-to-win” microtransactions

Three US senators have introduced a bill seeking to regulate "pay-to-win microtransactions and sales of loot boxes in video games" which are aimed at, or known to be played by, people under 18. Should it pass, it would bar games from selling randomised rewards, things that boost the natural pace of progression, or items that give an unfair advantage in competitive games. Even if this…

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