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Lootboxes, Microtransactions, and [Gambling in Gaming]

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Posts

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    In follow-up, two Democratic senators have some questions for Facebook about their microtransaction policies:
    Two Democratic senators have asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to explain why the social network apparently "manipulated children into spending their parents' money without permission" while playing games on Facebook.

    "A new report from the Center for Investigative Reporting shows that your company had a policy of willful blindness toward credit card charges by children—internally referred to as 'friendly fraud'—in order to boost revenue at the expense of parents," US Sens. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote in a letter to Zuckerberg today. "Notably, Facebook appears to have rejected a plan that would have effectively mitigated this risk and instead doubled down on maximizing revenue."

    Good.

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  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    https://thehill.com/policy/technology/442690-gop-senator-announces-bill-to-ban-manipulative-video-game-design
    Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Wednesday announced that he will introduce legislation banning "manipulative" online game features he says can push children to become addicted to technology.

    Hawley's Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act would prohibit games geared toward children from implementing features that prompt users to pay real-world money to advance in the game, called "pay-to-win," or receive rewards at random for a fee, called "loot boxes."

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would be tasked with enforcing the ban, and state attorneys general would also be empowered to file lawsuits against companies who violated the rules.

    "Social media and video games prey on user addiction, siphoning our kids’ attention from the real world and extracting profits from fostering compulsive habits," Hawley, a former GOP attorney general and one of the most outspoken Republican tech critics, said in a statement.

    "No matter this business model’s advantages to the tech industry, one thing is clear: there is no excuse for exploiting children through such practices," he said.

    The bill would specifically target games geared towards children, as determined by their "subject matter, visual content, and other indicators."

    Credit where due, but I feel the need to wait for the bill because I fear its source will include other, bad, tech stuff.

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  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    R-Mo. says that almost certainly it will include other bad tech stuff.

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  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    Or it will be so poorly worded that it's just useless

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  • FoefallerFoefaller Registered User regular
    edited May 8
    As he is my senator, I find my extreme disgust for him diminishing ever so slightly for this.

    Almost enough to send him a "Hey, don't fuck this up!" letter, regardless of how useful it might be. Maybe if I don't mention that I won't vote for him ever, it might actually get read... or even better, suggest that there might be a set of circumstances that I would consider it for at least 5 secs if he keeps on it and does it right.

    But yeah, holding off till the actual bill gets introduced and can read it up, in case it has to be a "You're screwing it up!" letter.

    Foefaller on
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  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Keep in mind that, if this somehow gets out of McConnel's senate (which I imagine a nice lobbiest donation will prevent) it'd still have to go through the House, at which point it'll probably get modified a whole bunch so even if it's good/bad now, there's no guarrentee it'll be good/bad later.

    Also I doubt the president will sign it as he's nortiously anti-regulation.

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  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    edited May 8
    Jragghen wrote: »
    https://thehill.com/policy/technology/442690-gop-senator-announces-bill-to-ban-manipulative-video-game-design
    Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Wednesday announced that he will introduce legislation banning "manipulative" online game features he says can push children to become addicted to technology.

    Hawley's Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act would prohibit games geared toward children from implementing features that prompt users to pay real-world money to advance in the game, called "pay-to-win," or receive rewards at random for a fee, called "loot boxes."

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would be tasked with enforcing the ban, and state attorneys general would also be empowered to file lawsuits against companies who violated the rules.

    "Social media and video games prey on user addiction, siphoning our kids’ attention from the real world and extracting profits from fostering compulsive habits," Hawley, a former GOP attorney general and one of the most outspoken Republican tech critics, said in a statement.

    "No matter this business model’s advantages to the tech industry, one thing is clear: there is no excuse for exploiting children through such practices," he said.

    The bill would specifically target games geared towards children, as determined by their "subject matter, visual content, and other indicators."

    Credit where due, but I feel the need to wait for the bill because I fear its source will include other, bad, tech stuff.

    Source:
    https://www.hawley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/2019-05/2019-05-08_Protecting-Children-Abusive-Games-Act_One-Pager.pdf

    EDIT: after reading the document again, it says targeted at those under 18, just using similar rules to COPPA, which sounds weirder.

    So, games targeted at those under 18, or those not targeted at those under 18, but who allow those under 18 to play. (If you're going to do this, just say all games.)

    evilmrhenry on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Theoretically a game could modify its TOS to limit access to those 18 or over, right? None will, but I suppose they’re leaving that as an option if any choose to.

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  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    Jragghen wrote: »
    https://thehill.com/policy/technology/442690-gop-senator-announces-bill-to-ban-manipulative-video-game-design
    Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Wednesday announced that he will introduce legislation banning "manipulative" online game features he says can push children to become addicted to technology.

    Hawley's Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act would prohibit games geared toward children from implementing features that prompt users to pay real-world money to advance in the game, called "pay-to-win," or receive rewards at random for a fee, called "loot boxes."

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would be tasked with enforcing the ban, and state attorneys general would also be empowered to file lawsuits against companies who violated the rules.

    "Social media and video games prey on user addiction, siphoning our kids’ attention from the real world and extracting profits from fostering compulsive habits," Hawley, a former GOP attorney general and one of the most outspoken Republican tech critics, said in a statement.

    "No matter this business model’s advantages to the tech industry, one thing is clear: there is no excuse for exploiting children through such practices," he said.

    The bill would specifically target games geared towards children, as determined by their "subject matter, visual content, and other indicators."

    Credit where due, but I feel the need to wait for the bill because I fear its source will include other, bad, tech stuff.

    Source:
    https://www.hawley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/2019-05/2019-05-08_Protecting-Children-Abusive-Games-Act_One-Pager.pdf

    EDIT: after reading the document again, it says targeted at those under 18, just using similar rules to COPPA, which sounds weirder.

    So, games targeted at those under 18, or those not targeted at those under 18, but who allow those under 18 to play. (If you're going to do this, just say all games.)

    If it makes loot boxes limited to games marked as M with the ESRB (and illegal if not under ESRB, which would block most mobile games) it'd still be a good thing.

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    Keep in mind that, if this somehow gets out of McConnel's senate (which I imagine a nice lobbiest donation will prevent) it'd still have to go through the House, at which point it'll probably get modified a whole bunch so even if it's good/bad now, there's no guarrentee it'll be good/bad later.

    Also I doubt the president will sign it as he's nortiously anti-regulation.
    He (and the GOP) are rabidly anti-tech, which they perceive to be like the media as staunchly liberal bastions (despite evidence to the contrary).

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  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Theoretically a game could modify its TOS to limit access to those 18 or over, right? None will, but I suppose they’re leaving that as an option if any choose to.

    They could. They'd probably need a credit card entered into the system to verify age.

    Deadpool was rated R and made billions. Games don't need to target kids.

    This machine kills threads.
  • FoefallerFoefaller Registered User regular
    Jragghen wrote: »
    https://thehill.com/policy/technology/442690-gop-senator-announces-bill-to-ban-manipulative-video-game-design
    Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Wednesday announced that he will introduce legislation banning "manipulative" online game features he says can push children to become addicted to technology.

    Hawley's Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act would prohibit games geared toward children from implementing features that prompt users to pay real-world money to advance in the game, called "pay-to-win," or receive rewards at random for a fee, called "loot boxes."

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would be tasked with enforcing the ban, and state attorneys general would also be empowered to file lawsuits against companies who violated the rules.

    "Social media and video games prey on user addiction, siphoning our kids’ attention from the real world and extracting profits from fostering compulsive habits," Hawley, a former GOP attorney general and one of the most outspoken Republican tech critics, said in a statement.

    "No matter this business model’s advantages to the tech industry, one thing is clear: there is no excuse for exploiting children through such practices," he said.

    The bill would specifically target games geared towards children, as determined by their "subject matter, visual content, and other indicators."

    Credit where due, but I feel the need to wait for the bill because I fear its source will include other, bad, tech stuff.

    Source:
    https://www.hawley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/2019-05/2019-05-08_Protecting-Children-Abusive-Games-Act_One-Pager.pdf

    EDIT: after reading the document again, it says targeted at those under 18, just using similar rules to COPPA, which sounds weirder.

    So, games targeted at those under 18, or those not targeted at those under 18, but who allow those under 18 to play. (If you're going to do this, just say all games.)

    So, my critique of this goes like this:

    -The the weakest part of the bill, IMO is how it decides whether game has to follow the rules or not, as it seems like it could simply cover all games (as there is no magical way to tell whether the person buying is a minor or not) or be deftly evaded by a line in the EULA that you totally swear you are an adult and are not going to let a kid buy microtransactions on it. Not to mention that pretty much any attempt for the government to try and establish what is "for kids" has pretty much always hit a brick wall in the past, regardless of which way SCOTUS is leaning. This would need to change/be more specific or everything afterwards becomes largely useless.

    -Definition of what is a lootbox is succulent and to the point. I've seen some other hot takes that this law could spell the doom for online CCGs. Personally I'm not sure I think saving them is worth sparing lootboxes, but I could see an argument to carving out an exception if you could make one that is so narrow that nothing other than a CCG could qualify for it. Also, I think it should make it outright illegal to add lootboxes after a game's full release. *coughCODcough*

    -Glad to see the statement acknowledging that developers literally make their game less fun to get people to buy pay-to-win items and lootboxes. I worry, though, that it might not be easily enforceable without relying on a "know it when I see it" test, for that and competitive
    examples of pay-to-win, outside of the most egregious examples (to me, that would be offering an advantage that can only be bought and not earned, or offering a permanent version of an advantage that can only be earned on a temporary basis.) Would boosters that increase currency/xp/resource gains be considered pay-to-win? Does the simple fact that it can be earned mean it's can't be pay to win? If that isn't the case, is there a point where the grind to earn is becomes pay-to-win? Or does the fact that it is available as a purchasable item make it pay to win regardless of the *lack* of effort it moght take to earn it? If it ever gets to a debate, I can see that as being the point (along with which game are affected) that bogs it down, even if a majority of the senators involved genuinely want to see something like this become law.

    Any case, I'm glad it's being brought up in DC, and in a weird way, extra glad that it's a GoP senator that is doing it; feel like it gives it a better chance that it could get more support from other Republicans that way.

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  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    Foefaller wrote: »
    Jragghen wrote: »
    https://thehill.com/policy/technology/442690-gop-senator-announces-bill-to-ban-manipulative-video-game-design
    Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Wednesday announced that he will introduce legislation banning "manipulative" online game features he says can push children to become addicted to technology.

    Hawley's Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act would prohibit games geared toward children from implementing features that prompt users to pay real-world money to advance in the game, called "pay-to-win," or receive rewards at random for a fee, called "loot boxes."

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would be tasked with enforcing the ban, and state attorneys general would also be empowered to file lawsuits against companies who violated the rules.

    "Social media and video games prey on user addiction, siphoning our kids’ attention from the real world and extracting profits from fostering compulsive habits," Hawley, a former GOP attorney general and one of the most outspoken Republican tech critics, said in a statement.

    "No matter this business model’s advantages to the tech industry, one thing is clear: there is no excuse for exploiting children through such practices," he said.

    The bill would specifically target games geared towards children, as determined by their "subject matter, visual content, and other indicators."

    Credit where due, but I feel the need to wait for the bill because I fear its source will include other, bad, tech stuff.

    Source:
    https://www.hawley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/2019-05/2019-05-08_Protecting-Children-Abusive-Games-Act_One-Pager.pdf

    EDIT: after reading the document again, it says targeted at those under 18, just using similar rules to COPPA, which sounds weirder.

    So, games targeted at those under 18, or those not targeted at those under 18, but who allow those under 18 to play. (If you're going to do this, just say all games.)

    So, my critique of this goes like this:

    -The the weakest part of the bill, IMO is how it decides whether game has to follow the rules or not, as it seems like it could simply cover all games (as there is no magical way to tell whether the person buying is a minor or not) or be deftly evaded by a line in the EULA that you totally swear you are an adult and are not going to let a kid buy microtransactions on it. Not to mention that pretty much any attempt for the government to try and establish what is "for kids" has pretty much always hit a brick wall in the past, regardless of which way SCOTUS is leaning. This would need to change/be more specific or everything afterwards becomes largely useless.

    -Definition of what is a lootbox is succulent and to the point. I've seen some other hot takes that this law could spell the doom for online CCGs. Personally I'm not sure I think saving them is worth sparing lootboxes, but I could see an argument to carving out an exception if you could make one that is so narrow that nothing other than a CCG could qualify for it. Also, I think it should make it outright illegal to add lootboxes after a game's full release. *coughCODcough*

    -Glad to see the statement acknowledging that developers literally make their game less fun to get people to buy pay-to-win items and lootboxes. I worry, though, that it might not be easily enforceable without relying on a "know it when I see it" test, for that and competitive
    examples of pay-to-win, outside of the most egregious examples (to me, that would be offering an advantage that can only be bought and not earned, or offering a permanent version of an advantage that can only be earned on a temporary basis.) Would boosters that increase currency/xp/resource gains be considered pay-to-win? Does the simple fact that it can be earned mean it's can't be pay to win? If that isn't the case, is there a point where the grind to earn is becomes pay-to-win? Or does the fact that it is available as a purchasable item make it pay to win regardless of the *lack* of effort it moght take to earn it? If it ever gets to a debate, I can see that as being the point (along with which game are affected) that bogs it down, even if a majority of the senators involved genuinely want to see something like this become law.

    Any case, I'm glad it's being brought up in DC, and in a weird way, extra glad that it's a GoP senator that is doing it; feel like it gives it a better chance that it could get more support from other Republicans that way.

    "deftly evaded by a line in the EULA" isn't going to happen if they're using COPPA rules. Those rules are resistant to legal shenanigans, and are more on the side of "I'll know it when I see it". However, the existing guidelines are for people 13 and under, not 18, so there's no real guidance on what to avoid. In practice, I think you end up with "bright colors=for kids", Fortnite gets regulated, but Battlefield does not.

  • FoefallerFoefaller Registered User regular
    So yeah, sent Hawley a "Don't fuck this up!" Basically iterated what I said above, but with a bit of fawning. Plus I tried to throw in "also think of people with gambling addiction" a couple of times and mentioned times games released without lootboxes, waited for the reviews, and then added them in an update so noone who had read any reviews would know they were buying a game with lootboxes.

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  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    all lootboxes and similar mechanics should be regulated by gaming commissions at the very minimum.

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  • -Loki--Loki- Don't pee in my mouth and tell me it's raining. Registered User regular
    Knight_ wrote: »
    all lootboxes and similar mechanics should be regulated by gaming commissions at the very minimum.

    While I completely, the problem comes with enforcement. You can enforce it in locations where gambling takes place like casinos, clubs, etc or track down illegal gambling locations.

    How do you police parents who buy the game for their kid and let them use their credit card? Who do they go after, the retail outlet selling the game in the first place? The parents for letting their kids use their credit card to gamble? Or if they never even used a credit card but just got in game rewards from playing, but still got a game they shouldn't have in the first place?

    Because this is being done in regular peoples homes, it makes it very hard to police. Better solution would be for them to be excised from video games entirely. Let them find another way to monetize their game that doesn't involve gambling if they need a post launch revenue stream. There's plenty of ways to do it, loot boxes were just latched on to because they were the lowest effort method with the greatest reward.

  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    You start by regulating what can go into a game by age rating.
    Then regulating stores selling for those under the age rating just like you regulate stuff like tobacco.
    Nothing is ever going to be perfect, but some regulation is better than no regulation.

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  • -Loki--Loki- Don't pee in my mouth and tell me it's raining. Registered User regular
    Yeah, sorry but I'm not seeing the guy at EB asking for ID changing much. At most, the kid complains to their parents, who walk in and buy it and give them the game at home.

    People on this website aren't the general public. Parents so far have no issue with loot boxes as long as their kids aren't running up their credit cards for hundreds of dollars. Look how many kids play Fortnite, whose parents happily let them buy in game currency because it keeps their kid quiet.

    Putting in legislation isn't going to do a thing because the violations are being done on private property in millions of individual houses. And if it doesn't slow the purchase of in game currency or buying loot boxes directly, then publishers/developers will just smile, say they did their bit in putting in a warning or accpeting a higher rating on the box, and continue to rake in money from underage gambling.

  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    Gambling comes with regulations, oversight, transparency, inspectiond, etc...

    Carding at the counter is the least important part, and even that helps.

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  • DrascinDrascin Registered User regular
    Keep in mind that, if this somehow gets out of McConnel's senate (which I imagine a nice lobbiest donation will prevent) it'd still have to go through the House, at which point it'll probably get modified a whole bunch so even if it's good/bad now, there's no guarrentee it'll be good/bad later.

    Also I doubt the president will sign it as he's nortiously anti-regulation.

    The president most likely doesn't even read the title of any bill that doesn't figure in his personal interest sphere, which is largely himself and his own business. I'm fairly sure if they get to his desk it'll get signed simply because he wouldn't give a fuck, it's not about him and therefore unmportant. Course, I also have severe doubts it will ever get to his desk at all.

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  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    edited May 9
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    Gambling comes with regulations, oversight, transparency, inspectiond, etc...

    Carding at the counter is the least important part, and even that helps.

    Yeah, if lootbox crap is put under the category of gambling, it opens up shit like parents getting fines and jailtime because their kid convinced them to get an 18+-only game, wherein the 18+ is purely because of lootboxes.

    I'd much rather the answer here be a hard "hell fucking no" to lootboxes and whatnot in games, permanently. There's nothing worthwhile or productive about this practice, just ditch it entirely.

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  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    Gambling comes with regulations, oversight, transparency, inspectiond, etc...

    Carding at the counter is the least important part, and even that helps.

    Yeah, if lootbox crap is put under the category of gambling, it opens up shit like parents getting fines and jailtime because their kid convinced them to get an 18+-only game, wherein the 18+ is purely because of lootboxes.

    I'd much rather the answer here be a hard "hell fucking no" to lootboxes and whatnot in games, permanently. There's nothing worthwhile or productive about this practice, just ditch it entirely.
    You think people are going to start throwing parents in jail over games?
    Well, yes, i guess it is possible, improbably in my mind, but possible.

    And sure, i'm all for getting rid of lootboxes completely, now what kind of legislative language do you propose to do it with?
    Gambling is a low hanging fruit, yet even that is an uphill fight.

  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    edited May 11
    Gaming control boards are not known for a sense of humor and understanding. Put something under their control and they will enforce it, and they frequently are authorized to enforce things themselves as well as having some judiciary capacity. They can't personally throw people in jail that I know of, but they will definitely come down hard on people allowing minors to gamble and can definitely get people thrown in jail for violations, even unknowing violations.

    It's just not a door worth opening just for the sake of keeping lootboxes around, which are wholly devoid of any productive value except for squeezing money from the vulnerable. This is something that needs to be banned outright, not regulated.

    As for specific language, there's a million ways to phrase an anti-lootbox law such that it keeps lootboxes gone forever while also not impacting games with chance elements or actual gambling games. Gambling has been an uphill fight for a long time not because of legal language, but because there's a loooot of shitty people with a lot of money dependent on being able to rip people off as much as possible while pretending not to; that's not even including that gambling has long been a haven of organized crime, which is a whole separate basket of issues from asshole lobbyists.

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    There is a difference between cracking down on an establishment that allows minors to gamble and a parent who allows their kid to gamble.

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  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    I think people are too concerned about the end user side of things, regulations should be hitting the developers/publishers.
    Also, most games are not sold on brick and mortar stores anymore, it's online, just making sure any digital distributor has child lock and requires the parent to confirm they are above 18 should affect enough sales to make loot boxes lot less profitable.

  • FoefallerFoefaller Registered User regular
    FTC is going to have a public forum discussing loot boxes on Aug. 9th in DC(link is FTC's own website)

    There is also an email where you can submit suggestions on topics/people who should be invited, and they will have a public comment for the event up until Oct. 11.

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  • FANTOMASFANTOMAS Flan ArgentavisRegistered User regular
    -Loki- wrote: »
    Yeah, sorry but I'm not seeing the guy at EB asking for ID changing much. At most, the kid complains to their parents, who walk in and buy it and give them the game at home.

    People on this website aren't the general public. Parents so far have no issue with loot boxes as long as their kids aren't running up their credit cards for hundreds of dollars. Look how many kids play Fortnite, whose parents happily let them buy in game currency because it keeps their kid quiet.

    Putting in legislation isn't going to do a thing because the violations are being done on private property in millions of individual houses. And if it doesn't slow the purchase of in game currency or buying loot boxes directly, then publishers/developers will just smile, say they did their bit in putting in a warning or accpeting a higher rating on the box, and continue to rake in money from underage gambling.

    The same way parents could by porn magazines or online subscriptions for their kids, but we dont see that as a big problem because its rare.
    Parents buy Fortnite stuff to their kids because its a child oriented product, if it had an "Adults only" tag, most parents wouldnt. And most parents wont LOOK at the game to see what the adult part it is, they will se the label and just stay clear from it, and that is good enough.

    Having an age restriction can definitely cripple a product, it will require a stage of verification to purchase online and most big physical stores wont even stock on age restricted products, or if they do, they will be displayed in a much different way, and most media tailor their product to have the least ammount of restriction possible, (like action movies with no blood, nudity or adult language to reach the 13yo demographic).

    So I have to completely disagree with you, an age restriction policy can absolutely shape the industry.

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  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Yeah if it didn't matter then various industries wouldn't fight so hard against it whenever it pops up for their product.

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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    Gambleboxes are one of the pillars of "games as a service". I'm not really a fan of the model as a whole and without gambling I don't think it works at all and I'm okay with that.

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited May 14
    It bothers me in particular that the games industry has come to this point. We've been to the, "Clean up your shit or the government will regulate it for you," point before, not that long ago, and we got the ESRB out of it.

    At some point the ESRB became an advocate instead of a regulator, and this time when we got back to the point of, "Clean up your shit or the government will regulate it for you," the industry said, "Nah, it's all cool. Now hold my beer and help me upend this huge vat of shit."

    Hevach on
  • 38thDoe38thDoe lets never be stupid again wait lets always be stupid foreverRegistered User regular
    It’s the whole publicly traded corporations need to show ever increasing profits problem. Eventually you can’t do anything that’s good long term but unprofitable or less profitable in the short term.



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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    Gambleboxes are one of the pillars of "games as a service". I'm not really a fan of the model as a whole and without gambling I don't think it works at all and I'm okay with that.

    Oh it works just fine without the lootboxes. It's just less profitable.

    A cash shop can still support a game. It just brings in less money then gambling.

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  • FoefallerFoefaller Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    Gambleboxes are one of the pillars of "games as a service". I'm not really a fan of the model as a whole and without gambling I don't think it works at all and I'm okay with that.

    Oh it works just fine without the lootboxes. It's just less profitable.

    A cash shop can still support a game. It just brings in less money then gambling.

    Warframe is a good example of a f2p game that makes money without gambling by another name. Actually removed one example of it within 24hrs of adding it after seeing someone pull the "lever" about 20 times in a row, and are removing the last remains of it in a patch due this week.

    But as mentioned, the impetus for defending lootboxes isn't to just make money; it's to try and get all the money that is humanly possible, plus an order of magnitude beyond that.

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited May 15
    38thDoe wrote: »
    It’s the whole publicly traded corporations need to show ever increasing profits problem. Eventually you can’t do anything that’s good long term but unprofitable or less profitable in the short term.

    The practical outcome of it is that it could very well lead to the first AAA publisher being sold for scrap in a leveraged buyout. Activision's layoffs in the midst of record profits are a symptom - their profits were record, but they grew by a lot less than the previous couple years. The people making the decisions are taking a torch to costs to try to widen the margin for just one more bonus cycle, regardless of what it does to the actual company a day past that. Plenty of companies have ended up in the Bain Capital portfolio for having a profitable year that just didn't live up to growth expectations.

    Hevach on
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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Foefaller wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    Gambleboxes are one of the pillars of "games as a service". I'm not really a fan of the model as a whole and without gambling I don't think it works at all and I'm okay with that.

    Oh it works just fine without the lootboxes. It's just less profitable.

    A cash shop can still support a game. It just brings in less money then gambling.

    Warframe is a good example of a f2p game that makes money without gambling by another name. Actually removed one example of it within 24hrs of adding it after seeing someone pull the "lever" about 20 times in a row, and are removing the last remains of it in a patch due this week.

    But as mentioned, the impetus for defending lootboxes isn't to just make money; it's to try and get all the money that is humanly possible, plus an order of magnitude beyond that.

    The other option is a subscription model, but that's mainly MMOs... and basically all of them still have a cash shop these days.

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Foefaller wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    Gambleboxes are one of the pillars of "games as a service". I'm not really a fan of the model as a whole and without gambling I don't think it works at all and I'm okay with that.

    Oh it works just fine without the lootboxes. It's just less profitable.

    A cash shop can still support a game. It just brings in less money then gambling.

    Warframe is a good example of a f2p game that makes money without gambling by another name. Actually removed one example of it within 24hrs of adding it after seeing someone pull the "lever" about 20 times in a row, and are removing the last remains of it in a patch due this week.

    But as mentioned, the impetus for defending lootboxes isn't to just make money; it's to try and get all the money that is humanly possible, plus an order of magnitude beyond that.

    Exactly. Very, very few people will pay $600 directly for a Ronaldo card in FIFA. As it turns out, a whole lot of people will spend that on random packs to *try* and get Ronaldo.

  • DrascinDrascin Registered User regular
    38thDoe wrote: »
    It’s the whole publicly traded corporations need to show ever increasing profits problem. Eventually you can’t do anything that’s good long term but unprofitable or less profitable in the short term.

    The Shareholder is the single most stupid and destructive creature in this green earth. Like, you think the sunfish, which doesn't have enough brainpower to actually swim, is stupid, but that's just small potatoes compared to a shareholder's ability to murder its own golden egg goose and then leave it while complainingly asking why did it have to stop laying eggs, whose mismanagement is responsible for this.

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  • yossarian_livesyossarian_lives Registered User regular
    Shareholders are basically derpy Romulans. Just replace unlimited expansion with unlimited growth. Both concepts are ridiculous on their face. It’s the reason game quality seems to be going down the shitter.

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  • MillMill Registered User regular
    Honestly, given the issues with the gaming industry lately. I'd be perfectly fine if this does have some unintended consequences that throw some much needed cold water on some of the shittier directions of the industry. I know it's been brought up that this might end up being applicable to things like bosses or loot runs. I'd be remiss if I didn't note that both of those things are often tied to games that seem to have an ever increasing amount of almost required daily play to keep up with them. So I'd be quite happy if this not only resulted in shitty loot boxes going, but also resulted in the industry moving the fuck away from essentially making some of their games goddamn jobs with zero pay, but a fee to have.

    I'd rather see things move back to subscriptions on another of things. I've got mixed views on in game shops. I'm a bit tolerant of the initial Blizzard shop for WoW because it wasn't a fucking gamble to get anything and all the in game stuff was vanity items. So I'd be find if that was also a model that companies fell back on. I get they need to make ends meet, but I find the whole loot box thing rather disgusting because it's a predatory setup and it's not like there aren't other avenues to legitimately fund things, that aren't super shitty.

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  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Drascin wrote: »
    38thDoe wrote: »
    It’s the whole publicly traded corporations need to show ever increasing profits problem. Eventually you can’t do anything that’s good long term but unprofitable or less profitable in the short term.

    The Shareholder is the single most stupid and destructive creature in this green earth. Like, you think the sunfish, which doesn't have enough brainpower to actually swim, is stupid, but that's just small potatoes compared to a shareholder's ability to murder its own golden egg goose and then leave it while complainingly asking why did it have to stop laying eggs, whose mismanagement is responsible for this.

    "I'm happy to say that based on current projections, our goose will continue to lay golden eggs for the foreseeable future netting us a guaranteed profit of roughly 10% every month after expenses."
    "Okay. That's good I guess. But 100% would be better."
    "Oh, well, that's not really possible. The only feasible way would be to kill the goose immediately after it laid an egg."
    "Excellent! Do that!"
    "But... but then there would be no more golden eggs."
    "Sure but there'd also be zero maintenance costs."
    "But also no more golden eggs."
    "You can use this rock. Rocks are free. Also sell the meat after."

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