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Posts tagged “loot boxes”

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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US legislator takes aim at loot boxes targeting children

A Republican senator is set to introduce a bill that would restrict loot boxes and other predatory business models specifically aimed at children, as reported by GamesIndustry.biz. The "Protecting Children From Abusive Games Act" is the brain-child of Senator Josh Hawley, and would put the American FTC (Federal Trade Commission) in charge of enforcing the new rules. If this law were to pass, then games…

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Rocket League disables locked loot boxes in Belgium and Netherlands

Carballing sport 'em up Rocket League has disabled loot boxes which require keys to open for players in Belgium and the Netherlands. If you're there, you won't be able to open 'em, and that's that. While many countries are still eyeing paid loot boxes with suspicion, forming committees and signing declarations but not taking much action, Belgium and the Netherlands are going after the types…

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Heroes Of The Storm will remove the ability to buy loot boxes with real money

Blizzard’s multi-universe MOBA Heroes Of The Storm will remove the ability to buy loot boxes with real world money, according to their latest test region patch notes. You’ll still be able to roll the dice with currency acquired in game, and you’ll still be able to pay for various heroes and cosmetics using your hard-earned quids, but no more direct wallet-to-random draw conversion.

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Feign Belgianness in Apex Legends to replace Battle Pass loot boxes with crafting materials

Canny Apex Legends have figured out a way to get crafting materials from levelling up the Battle Pass instead of loot boxes: by pretending to be in Belgium, a country which has cracked down on loot boxes. This results in a slightly smaller overall reward but materials do let players craft specific skins rather than hoping for blind luck with the boxes. All you have…

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Lawsuit claims Fortnite’s random loot boxes were ‘deceptive’

Epic Games’ lawyers seem to be being kept quite busy at the moment, with yet another lawsuit targeting the company. This latest filing, which targets the lesser played survival version of Fortnite, Save The World, alleges that the blind loot boxes (which were recently pulled from the game) were “a predatory scheme,” that “mercilessly…lured minors and other purchasers.”

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FIFA Ultimate Team to effectively stop selling loot boxes in Belgium

Electronic Arts have thrown in the towel in their battle with Belgium over whether or not paid loot boxes in FIFA's Ultimate Team mode constitute illegal gambling. Without admitting to anything, EA today announced that they will soon stop selling Belgian players the 'FIFA Points' microtransaction currency used to buy Ultimate Team 'packs', effectively stopping selling them. Technically if someone is sitting on €657965468476 of…

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Fortnite: Save The World will show potential buyers what’s in their loot boxes

The less-discussed Fortnite sibling, PvE survival shooter Fortnite: Save The World is changing how its loot boxes work. Potential buyers will now be able to see exactly what’s inside the store’s llama piñatas, enabling them to make a more informed decision about whether or not they want to pay to take a metaphorical mallet to them.

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Quake Champions drops loot boxes and brings back Capture The Flag today

Quake Champions's December update is live, and it's one of the biggest the old-school arena shooter has seen since it entered early access. The much-maligned loot box-based economy of the game is dead, replaced by a linear progression of cosmetic rewards for each character, and extra goodies for those who pick up a Fortnite/Rocket League-styled season pass. They've also brought back Capture The Flag mode…

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Quake Champions frags loot boxes and spawns in battle passes

Twitchy old-school arena shooter Quake Champions is the latest competitive game to axe random rewards in favour of a more deterministic reward structure. Outlined here, the free-to-play deathmatch (still technically in early access) will drop loot boxes this month in favour of a Fortnite and Rocket League-esque progression system. Players earn a chain of rewards each three-month season just by playing, or speed things up…

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ESA defend loot boxes again, while IGDA call for industry self-regulation

Several video games industry associations have reacted to the news that the USA's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are planning to investigate loot boxes over concerns about potential impact on children. America's Entertainment Software Association (ESA), whose duties include running the E3 games show, have repeated their stance that loot boxes "can enhance the experience" and aren't gambling and they're fine okay just leave it. The…

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FTC & Australian Senate committee give loot boxes the stink eye

Several government bodies around the world are continuing to eye loot boxes with suspicion, with yesterday alone bringing news that the USA's Federal Trade Commission is investigating them and an Australian Senate committee has concluded that the government should take a closer look. No, neither of those steps is close to sparking actual industry-wide changes to exploitative loot boxes, but it's potentially laying groundwork for…

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Gambling Commission report decries skin gambling, but not loot boxes

Great Britain's Gambling Commission did not call loot boxes gambling or a gateway to gambling in a new report, the body have stressed after some media coverage of it claimed that they did. Their 'Young People & Gambling 2018' report, based on a survey of young'uns aged 11-16 "to explore gambling behaviour among young people in Great Britain", did repeat the body's stance that betting…

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Forza 7 removes random ‘prize crates’

The loot box-y unlock system of 'prize crates' has been scoured from Forza Motorsport 7, replaced with a store with a random, rotating selection of stuff. Forza 7 never sold these boxes of cosmetics and cash boosters for real money but Microsoft had planned to start once the game had been out for a while, until all the people saying "Ha ha WHAT?" made them…

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Dota 2 starts showing odds of rare bonus items in loot boxes

Valve are starting to clearly disclose the odds of receiving a rare bonus wizard costume in your Dota 2 loot box of wizard hats, adding an in-game pop-up stating your chances. This is for the "escalating odds", which go up as you open more and more of a certain loot box, and will always track your current chances. The odds were vaguely available before in…

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Guild Wars 2’s premium currency unavailable in Belgium as legal pressure builds

Loot boxes are retreating across the Belgian front as Guild Wars 2 apparently becomes the latest game to axe sales of premium currency in the country, as reported by Gamasutra. While subscription-free (and free-to-play in general, if you don't mind missing out on expansions), Arenanet's successful MMORPG has always had loot boxes. The in-game premium shop offers keys to unlock randomly dropped boxes, as well…

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Sixteen gambling regulators unite to grumble about loot boxes and skin gambling

The walls seem to be closing in on loot boxes and digital football cards. Just last week, the Belgian gaming commission declared that EA are under criminal investigation after refusing to cut paid loot boxes from the FIFA series. Now, sixteen gambling regulators around the world (mostly Europe, but Washington State are involved) have made a joint declaration that there's something rotten in the state…

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EA may be going to court in Belgium to keep loot boxes in FIFA 18 and 19

EA made a show of cutting loot boxes from games such as Star Wars Battlefront 2, but they seem willing to go to court to fight for their presence in FIFA 18 and 19, and it might result in a legal battle. After the Belgian Gaming Commission declared many kinds of loot box to be gambling, some studios restricted sales of random virtual rewards in the…

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