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Lootboxes, Microtransactions, and [Gambling in Gaming]

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Posts

  • lazegamerlazegamer Registered User regular
    edited January 25
    This article is revealing papers from a Facebook lawsuit in 2012. Of note, Amazon, Apple, and Google all got fined for not making a better effort to prevent unauthorized purchases (aka friendly/chargeback fraud) and given decrees requiring informed consent with in-app purchases in 2014.

    I don't know what standard practice is nowadays, I hope all the major players are more stringent about passwords/warning text in front of in-app purchases?

    I've been hit by friendly fraud before, my 2 year old daughter bought some books through an unlocked kindle. To Amazon's credit, they didn't 'fight against friendly fraud' and gave me a quick refund. Cheaper for them than if I had asked my credit card company to issue a chargeback.

    lazegamer on
    Surprise.
    - Spy
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    lazegamer wrote: »
    This article is revealing papers from a Facebook lawsuit in 2012. Of note, Amazon, Apple, and Google all got fined for not making a better effort to prevent unauthorized purchases (aka friendly/chargeback fraud) and given decrees requiring informed consent with in-app purchases in 2014.

    I don't know what standard practice is nowadays, I hope all the major players are more stringent about passwords/warning text in front of in-app purchases?

    I've been hit by friendly fraud before, my 2 year old daughter bought some books through an unlocked kindle. To Amazon's credit, they didn't 'fight against friendly fraud' and gave me a quick refund. Cheaper for them than if I had asked my credit card company to issue a chargeback.

    This reminds me of a thread I made way back in 2011!

    kimeAntinumericElvenshaeBucketman
  • N1tSt4lkerN1tSt4lker Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I was very, very curious how those loot boxes went over. I will be equally curious to see if they appear again.

    ThawmusMan in the MistsKayne Red RobeBucketman
  • ThawmusThawmus Registered User regular
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Thawmus wrote: »
    That you would even think for a microsecond that the inside baseball term for kids you're manipulating should be "whales" should get you shot out of a cannon into the Sun.

    That's just a term for any high spender in F2P

    I don't think that actually makes it any better.

    steam_sig.png
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    ...
    N1tSt4lker wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I was very, very curious how those loot boxes went over. I will be equally curious to see if they appear again.

    They seemed very, very popular at SDCC. I never noticed them at PAX, so I assume they didn’t sell well?

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    ...
    N1tSt4lker wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I was very, very curious how those loot boxes went over. I will be equally curious to see if they appear again.

    They seemed very, very popular at SDCC. I never noticed them at PAX, so I assume they didn’t sell well?

    It's less them selling and more what they represent.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited January 25
    N1tSt4lker wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I was very, very curious how those loot boxes went over. I will be equally curious to see if they appear again.

    The booth at PAX South seemed to have a lot of inventory left on Sunday evening, but who knows what they came in terms of volume. I did see some people with a box, and a short-ish line to purchase more. They were very efficient about getting people through the line and getting their money.

    I didn't hear anything good or cool about the boxes themselves or the contents.

    spool32 on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    ...
    N1tSt4lker wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I was very, very curious how those loot boxes went over. I will be equally curious to see if they appear again.

    They seemed very, very popular at SDCC. I never noticed them at PAX, so I assume they didn’t sell well?

    It's less them selling and more what they represent.

    For sure. But if they’re popular and sell well then it could be argued that any vocal opposition may just be a loud minority...numbers talk.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    ...
    N1tSt4lker wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I was very, very curious how those loot boxes went over. I will be equally curious to see if they appear again.

    They seemed very, very popular at SDCC. I never noticed them at PAX, so I assume they didn’t sell well?

    It's less them selling and more what they represent.

    For sure. But if they’re popular and sell well then it could be argued that any vocal opposition may just be a loud minority...numbers talk.

    There are a lot of things that people refuse to sell for moral reasons, though.

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  • Martini_PhilosopherMartini_Philosopher Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    N1tSt4lker wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I was very, very curious how those loot boxes went over. I will be equally curious to see if they appear again.

    The booth at PAX South seemed to have a lot of inventory left on Sunday evening, but who knows what they came in terms of volume. I did see some people with a box, and a short-ish line to purchase more. They were very efficient about getting people through the line and getting their money.

    I didn't hear anything good or cool about the boxes themselves or the contents.

    There has been a similar setup at GenCon and has been there for the past several years now. I think I they first appeared in 2012, if I'm remembering right. As far as I can tell, pretty much no one has complained about what they got. Or they've not been complaining on the GenCon forums.

    The company keeps coming back and selling out, so whatever it is they have it's good enough for that to happen.

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    KetarBucketman
  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    Literally branding them as lootboxes is tacky as shit. But if you branded them instead as mystery bags containing a random assortment of swag? That sort of thing has been done before and has been successful and popular.

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Literally branding them as lootboxes is tacky as shit. But if you branded them instead as mystery bags containing a random assortment of swag? That sort of thing has been done before and has been successful and popular.

    Lootcrates have been a thing for years yeah. They don’t bother me as much, because at least you are buying real life items that you own and can resell (or use and wear) in the future. Whereas gaming loot boxes sell nothing but randomized progression in a game they can shut off at any time, and which usually cannot be resold to recoup value.

    V1mMegaMan001Jeep-Eep
  • KetarKetar Ready to feel better about your own miserable lives?Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    N1tSt4lker wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I was very, very curious how those loot boxes went over. I will be equally curious to see if they appear again.

    The booth at PAX South seemed to have a lot of inventory left on Sunday evening, but who knows what they came in terms of volume. I did see some people with a box, and a short-ish line to purchase more. They were very efficient about getting people through the line and getting their money.

    I didn't hear anything good or cool about the boxes themselves or the contents.

    There were a lot of people walking around with them on Friday and Saturday. No idea what anyone ended up with though, since I didn't see any forumers I knew buying any.

    There are always a lot of them at GenCon, and I remember seeing some at a comic convention last year in Chicago. They seem popular, but I don't know if they're remotely worth it or garbage or what.

    Bucketman
  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    I believe @21stCentury bought one, they they feel like weighing in.

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  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited January 25
    Don't mystery bags have a reputation for being garbage?

    Most of the subscription boxes of nerd stuff give the same or nearly the same thing to everyone.

    Couscous on
  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    In less evil news:
    https://www.pcgamer.com/fortnite-save-the-worlds-loot-boxes-will-let-you-see-whats-inside-them-before-you-buy/
    Fortnite's loot boxes will be changed so you can see what's inside them before you buy. I guess this changes them to more of a random per-user daily sale, which is a bit weird, but no longer gambling.

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  • 21stCentury21stCentury A lovely pixel artist and gamecrafter [They/Them]Registered User regular
    Aioua wrote: »
    I believe 21stCentury bought one, they they feel like weighing in.

    i bought a Steven universe one.

    I was promised to have a couple things not Steven Universe branded and got a catbug Phone case for iPhone 4...

    As for the rest, i don't know how much blind boxes are worth but i did not feel as though i got a $100 with the trinkets i bought. I was very disappointed, in fact, due to the amount they asked for.

    I will not be purchasing more.

  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    edited January 26
    In less evil news:
    https://www.pcgamer.com/fortnite-save-the-worlds-loot-boxes-will-let-you-see-whats-inside-them-before-you-buy/
    Fortnite's loot boxes will be changed so you can see what's inside them before you buy. I guess this changes them to more of a random per-user daily sale, which is a bit weird, but no longer gambling.

    I'm sure it's pure coincidence that they've announced this change to their loot box system the same day that Facebook's internal memos about purposefully targeting microtransactions towards children were made public.

    DarkPrimus on
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  • lazegamerlazegamer Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    In less evil news:
    https://www.pcgamer.com/fortnite-save-the-worlds-loot-boxes-will-let-you-see-whats-inside-them-before-you-buy/
    Fortnite's loot boxes will be changed so you can see what's inside them before you buy. I guess this changes them to more of a random per-user daily sale, which is a bit weird, but no longer gambling.

    I'm sure it's pure coincidence that they've announced this change to their loot box system the same day that Facebook's internal memos about purposefully targeting microtransactions towards children were made public.

    A company as large as epic doesn't make major decisions about their cash cow in a few hours based on a minor news story.

    Surprise.
    - Spy
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  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    Yeah, no software team I know of would decide to do a change on friday, announce it that same day and ship it for tuesday. This requires design work, server work, client work, a whole bunch of testing and unless they don't test their updates at all tuesday's update should be frozen today

    That's even if the business side wanted to change their plans on a dime over one story

    Maybe they decided to announce it because of the story though

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  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    N1tSt4lker wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I was very, very curious how those loot boxes went over. I will be equally curious to see if they appear again.

    The booth at PAX South seemed to have a lot of inventory left on Sunday evening, but who knows what they came in terms of volume. I did see some people with a box, and a short-ish line to purchase more. They were very efficient about getting people through the line and getting their money.

    I didn't hear anything good or cool about the boxes themselves or the contents.

    I hung out near the booth for a while, because I was curious about what was inside the boxes, and there was pretty much always someone buying a box for $40. I got a peek inside some of the boxes of people opening them on the sides of the hall, but I did not see anyone react in anything more positive than a neutral "Oh, that's nice I guess" sort of way.

    I am extremely leery of physical loot boxes like that because they probably aren't regulated. Their claim was that there's "$100 worth of stuff for $40" but I call bullshit on that one.

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  • 21stCentury21stCentury A lovely pixel artist and gamecrafter [They/Them]Registered User regular
    Madican wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    N1tSt4lker wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I was very, very curious how those loot boxes went over. I will be equally curious to see if they appear again.

    The booth at PAX South seemed to have a lot of inventory left on Sunday evening, but who knows what they came in terms of volume. I did see some people with a box, and a short-ish line to purchase more. They were very efficient about getting people through the line and getting their money.

    I didn't hear anything good or cool about the boxes themselves or the contents.

    I hung out near the booth for a while, because I was curious about what was inside the boxes, and there was pretty much always someone buying a box for $40. I got a peek inside some of the boxes of people opening them on the sides of the hall, but I did not see anyone react in anything more positive than a neutral "Oh, that's nice I guess" sort of way.

    I am extremely leery of physical loot boxes like that because they probably aren't regulated. Their claim was that there's "$100 worth of stuff for $40" but I call bullshit on that one.

    Honestly, if bought the box expecting a couple cool trinkets i could maybe give as gifts to coworkers and i didn't get enough for that. :\

  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Yeah, no software team I know of would decide to do a change on friday, announce it that same day and ship it for tuesday. This requires design work, server work, client work, a whole bunch of testing and unless they don't test their updates at all tuesday's update should be frozen today

    That's even if the business side wanted to change their plans on a dime over one story

    Maybe they decided to announce it because of the story though

    I assume it got started once words like "regulation", "gambling", "children", and "illegal" started showing up in the news, with the final "release or not" decision taking place much later.

    Elvenshae
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Thawmus wrote: »
    That you would even think for a microsecond that the inside baseball term for kids you're manipulating should be "whales" should get you shot out of a cannon into the Sun.

    That's just a term for any high spender in F2P

    And which is on the list of terms that should never ever be applied to children.

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  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Literally branding them as lootboxes is tacky as shit. But if you branded them instead as mystery bags containing a random assortment of swag? That sort of thing has been done before and has been successful and popular.

    Lootcrates have been a thing for years yeah. They don’t bother me as much, because at least you are buying real life items that you own and can resell (or use and wear) in the future. Whereas gaming loot boxes sell nothing but randomized progression in a game they can shut off at any time, and which usually cannot be resold to recoup value.

    Also there's a limit to the physical number of boxes one can buy and walk away with.

    mcdermott
  • GrisloGrislo Registered User regular
    In less evil news:
    https://www.pcgamer.com/fortnite-save-the-worlds-loot-boxes-will-let-you-see-whats-inside-them-before-you-buy/
    Fortnite's loot boxes will be changed so you can see what's inside them before you buy. I guess this changes them to more of a random per-user daily sale, which is a bit weird, but no longer gambling.

    They will almost be able to have their cake and eat it too, since there are likely still going to be multiple boxes for sale per day - but, if you want to see what's in box number two, you'll have to buy box number one first (despite knowing that it contains nothing you want. But imagine what box number two migtht contain!), so you will still be able to gamble as per usual.

    It's a really nice change, though.

    This post was sponsored by LG.

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  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Frankly I would never allow a lootbox mechanic, physical or otherwise, in my (entirely theoretical) venue unless I knew it was strongly regulated and transparent. And I would likely demand on-premises accounting from an independent third party to ensure that the expressed odds actually reflected reality.

    Like, unless someone else is watching them pack the boxes and then watching them get unwrapped and tallying the results I will pretty much assume the vendor is fucking people over.

    Even then I would probably just assume they are giving away fake Chinese knockoffs instead of the real things, which would make me demand even more validation of their supply chain.

    TLDR I do not trust people who try to make their money via selling gambling as far as I can throw them so it's not worth the hassle.

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  • Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    edited January 26
    Friendly fraud is such a wonderfully terrible corp speak term.

    This seems like the moral equivalent of tobacco advertising to children, who the hell thought that was a good idea.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    Friendly fraud is such a wonderfully terrible corp speak term.

    This seems like the moral equivalent of tobacco advertising to children, who the hell thought that was a good idea.

    Uh... tobacco executives?

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  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    Friendly fraud is such a wonderfully terrible corp speak term.

    This seems like the moral equivalent of tobacco advertising to children, who the hell thought that was a good idea.

    To be clear, friendly fraud is a real term. It includes stuff like doing a chargeback on a purchase after claiming that an item wasn't delivered, when it was. What makes it "friendly" fraud is that the customer might be telling the truth, so you don't want to treat them as a fraudster. In this case, "my 5 year old son must have bought $100 worth of virtual items" could be the truth, or it could be someone regretting their purchase. The actual problem is various people wanting to reduce the amount of chargebacks they were getting, and Facebook deciding that profits were more important.

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  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I've been doing the convention circuit locally for the last 5 or 6 years, and have seen a number of these 'physical loot boxes' being sold at a number of booths. Whenever someone with one stops by my friend's booth, I usually ask them if they got anything good in the box. I keep it upbeat and cheerful, sincerely curious, but I cannot remember the last time someone was happy, let alone excited, with what they got from it.

    To date, I've snagged exactly one Lootcrate(tm) Lootcrate, which was Mass Effect themed. I was happy with the hoodie inside, and either sold off or gave away a number of the other knicknacks. They're not "$100 worth of stuff for $40" in my experience (personal and from countless inquiries), they're an effort to turn a bunch of random shit into a sale, with the hopes that one or two of the items might appeal enough to be considered 'worth it', with the rest being stocking stuffer fodder at best and outright garbage at worst.

    I'm sure there are counterpoints, examples both specific to the individual and generalized to a particular brand, franchise, company, or convention, where it was a totally worthwhile deal stocked full of awesome stuff, but by and large if it was all triple A stuff, they'd be selling it individually at a much higher profit margin. Including a pile of random crap that was probably produced for pennies to fill out the contents is nice and all, but I feel it's a fringe case compared to the usual "meh" response I too have observed.

    I don't mind a measure of randomness now and then, but seeing a "Doctor Who Lootcrate!" sets off my mental alarms that no, this isn't a good gift for a friend who loves the franchise. Paying the same amount or less for one or two specific items is the vastly superior outcome.

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  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    lazegamer wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    In less evil news:
    https://www.pcgamer.com/fortnite-save-the-worlds-loot-boxes-will-let-you-see-whats-inside-them-before-you-buy/
    Fortnite's loot boxes will be changed so you can see what's inside them before you buy. I guess this changes them to more of a random per-user daily sale, which is a bit weird, but no longer gambling.

    I'm sure it's pure coincidence that they've announced this change to their loot box system the same day that Facebook's internal memos about purposefully targeting microtransactions towards children were made public.

    A company as large as epic doesn't make major decisions about their cash cow in a few hours based on a minor news story.

    Should be noted Save the World this is the original PVE Fortnite, not the tacked-on BR that is their actual huge cash cow.

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  • DacDac Registered User regular
    edited January 27
    Thawmus wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Thawmus wrote: »
    That you would even think for a microsecond that the inside baseball term for kids you're manipulating should be "whales" should get you shot out of a cannon into the Sun.

    That's just a term for any high spender in F2P

    I don't think that actually makes it any better.

    "No no no! We don't dehumanize children by calling them whales. That's just the term we use for everyone!"

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  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    Forar wrote: »
    I've been doing the convention circuit locally for the last 5 or 6 years, and have seen a number of these 'physical loot boxes' being sold at a number of booths. Whenever someone with one stops by my friend's booth, I usually ask them if they got anything good in the box. I keep it upbeat and cheerful, sincerely curious, but I cannot remember the last time someone was happy, let alone excited, with what they got from it.

    To date, I've snagged exactly one Lootcrate(tm) Lootcrate, which was Mass Effect themed. I was happy with the hoodie inside, and either sold off or gave away a number of the other knicknacks. They're not "$100 worth of stuff for $40" in my experience (personal and from countless inquiries), they're an effort to turn a bunch of random shit into a sale, with the hopes that one or two of the items might appeal enough to be considered 'worth it', with the rest being stocking stuffer fodder at best and outright garbage at worst.

    I'm sure there are counterpoints, examples both specific to the individual and generalized to a particular brand, franchise, company, or convention, where it was a totally worthwhile deal stocked full of awesome stuff, but by and large if it was all triple A stuff, they'd be selling it individually at a much higher profit margin. Including a pile of random crap that was probably produced for pennies to fill out the contents is nice and all, but I feel it's a fringe case compared to the usual "meh" response I too have observed.

    I don't mind a measure of randomness now and then, but seeing a "Doctor Who Lootcrate!" sets off my mental alarms that no, this isn't a good gift for a friend who loves the franchise. Paying the same amount or less for one or two specific items is the vastly superior outcome.

    On the subject of lootcrates escaping from video games, they've even spread to video games. There's a thing going on where digital stores are selling randomized game keys. Fanatical, GOG, and Green Man Gaming have all done this, with varied rules and price points, and I've probably missed a few retailers. I think this works even worse than physical loot crates:
    * You are likely to end up with games you already own. (GOG can at least check your GOG library, but they can't tell if you own the game on Steam.) Duplicate physical items can still be of interest.
    * They're not themed; there's a lot of games out there, in a lot of different genres, and nobody likes every single genre. Physical loot boxes at least can say they're Minecraft themed or whatever.
    * It's difficult to resell duplicate games and games you don't want that are in the form of Steam keys.

    Fanatical was apparently using it to clear their inventory of shitty Steam games, and sprinkling a few good games in there to keep people interested. I assume GMG had the same motivation. Not sure why GOG was involved, they're usually above things like this.

    Orca
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    Seems like an awful lot of effort to try and pretend gambling is somehow not gambling. As though there's some sort of "spirit of giving" thing going on. Exploiting compulsive behavior like it's fucking M&Ms or a crappy magazine at a grocery store.

    The only form of this I've ever been okay with was comic book store grab bags. You'd end up with some pretty interesting comics that had a tangible value and if you wanted a specific comic there was an entire store to browse.

  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    I was operating under the assumption these things are $10 or $20 at most. $40 though? Yeah, get bent, especially if the majority are just glorified happy meal toys.

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  • yossarian_livesyossarian_lives Registered User regular
    Referring to children as whales is super fucked up. My five year old reacts poorly to ads. If he sees something cool on TV he HAS to have it. It’s nothing like adults who can push back on the desire to buy something immediately. Children are vulnerable to this kind of bullshit in ways that are difficult to articulate if you don’t have a child in your life. Fuck Facebook and the sociopaths that pushed this shit!

    "I see everything twice!"


  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    Seems like an awful lot of effort to try and pretend gambling is somehow not gambling. As though there's some sort of "spirit of giving" thing going on. Exploiting compulsive behavior like it's fucking M&Ms or a crappy magazine at a grocery store.

    The only form of this I've ever been okay with was comic book store grab bags. You'd end up with some pretty interesting comics that had a tangible value and if you wanted a specific comic there was an entire store to browse.

    They did a surprisingly good job convincing people lootboxes aren't gambling, up to and including getting targets of their predatory practice to defend the practice as not gambling.

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    Seems like an awful lot of effort to try and pretend gambling is somehow not gambling. As though there's some sort of "spirit of giving" thing going on. Exploiting compulsive behavior like it's fucking M&Ms or a crappy magazine at a grocery store.

    The only form of this I've ever been okay with was comic book store grab bags. You'd end up with some pretty interesting comics that had a tangible value and if you wanted a specific comic there was an entire store to browse.

    They did a surprisingly good job convincing people lootboxes aren't gambling, up to and including getting targets of their predatory practice to defend the practice as not gambling.

    Honestly, I think we as a society have normalised lootboxes as not gambling before videogames were a thing.
    Every carnival game, skill tester, collectible card pack, collectible possibly shiny plastic thing from Moose, etc, has just made cheap gambling seem like harmless fun.

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