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Lootboxes, Microtransactions, and [Gambling in Gaming]

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Posts

  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote: »
    Hey so, the FTC discovered that sponsored streamers were having their loot box odds manipulated by developers / publishers. That is astronomically fucked up.

    https://www.polygon.com/2019/8/7/20758974/ftc-loot-box-panel-streamer-publisher-sponsorships

    Edit - To get ahead of it, that action does NOT have to be disclosed, legally speaking. A stream being sponsored does, but any manipulation in the streamer's favor does not have to be. That is... wild. It makes me wonder how many streamers have favor being put on them without consenting to it.

    Not quite. Reading the article, one publisher offered to adjust the loot box odds, but there's no indication that it was accepted.

    What does appear common, though, is paying for streamers to open loot boxes on-stream. This fits in to the existing pattern where companies are using social pressure and normalization to encourage people to buy loot boxes. For example:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2017/11/03/call-of-duty-ww2-gives-out-rewards-for-watching-other-players-open-loot-boxes/#3b1a5c4f7589
    'Call Of Duty: World War 2' Gives Out Rewards For Watching Other Players Open Loot Boxes

    Why would companies do this? Because they want opening a loot box to seem normal, like something everyone does, and literally watching someone open loot boxes is a very good way to make you seem like the odd one out for not participating in the loot box system. By watching a streamer do this, it can also normalize opening a BUNCH of loot boxes, and therefore encourage buying more loot boxes than you might otherwise buy.

    Martini_Philosopherkime
  • Martini_PhilosopherMartini_Philosopher Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote: »
    Hey so, the FTC discovered that sponsored streamers were having their loot box odds manipulated by developers / publishers. That is astronomically fucked up.

    https://www.polygon.com/2019/8/7/20758974/ftc-loot-box-panel-streamer-publisher-sponsorships

    Edit - To get ahead of it, that action does NOT have to be disclosed, legally speaking. A stream being sponsored does, but any manipulation in the streamer's favor does not have to be. That is... wild. It makes me wonder how many streamers have favor being put on them without consenting to it.

    Not quite. Reading the article, one publisher offered to adjust the loot box odds, but there's no indication that it was accepted.

    What does appear common, though, is paying for streamers to open loot boxes on-stream. This fits in to the existing pattern where companies are using social pressure and normalization to encourage people to buy loot boxes. For example:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2017/11/03/call-of-duty-ww2-gives-out-rewards-for-watching-other-players-open-loot-boxes/#3b1a5c4f7589
    'Call Of Duty: World War 2' Gives Out Rewards For Watching Other Players Open Loot Boxes

    Why would companies do this? Because they want opening a loot box to seem normal, like something everyone does, and literally watching someone open loot boxes is a very good way to make you seem like the odd one out for not participating in the loot box system. By watching a streamer do this, it can also normalize opening a BUNCH of loot boxes, and therefore encourage buying more loot boxes than you might otherwise buy.

    Furthermore, research has shown that this does lead to an addiction. It's more than social pressures. It's more than the Gambler's Fallacy. This is straight-up creation of an addicting behavior.

    All opinions are my own and in no way reflect that of my employer.
    kime38thDoeLord_AsmodeusmcdermottQuidHefflingshoeboxjeddyShadowfireMegaMekJaysonFourKetarMoridin889FencingsaxDee KaeLoisLane
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    We have one person willing to disclose the idea was at minimum floated and they don't know how far it went. There are many companies that develop games with lootboxes and offer streamers promotion opportunities. They will likely now be asked, but they will probably refuse to answer or dodge answering, and even if they're honest, the action is again not technically illegal. As long as the stream itself is disclosed as being sponsored, whatever is happening in the streamer's benefit (with or without their knowledge) doesn't have to be disclosed.

    It's a very weird angle introduced in all this and I'm grossed out by what might be discovered.

    Nobody likes me but that's okay. I'm used to it.
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    I know the odds when I step up to a craps table it doesn't stop me from betting the field or box cars every now and again.

  • chrisnlchrisnl Registered User regular
    Offering to manipulate the odds like that might not be illegal, but it damn well should be. I'm just not sure exactly how such a restriction would be codified in law.

    As for watching streamers / youtubers opening lootboxes and the like, I'm very curious if any of the ones I've watched have been manipulated. None of the videos have been labeled as sponsored by the game in question (a few have been sponsored by similar games oddly enough), so I would guess not. I've also seen some of those youtubers get some extremely unlucky results, so that would be a data point against the odds being manipulated but certainly not conclusive proof. These are also games run by Japanese companies, so I'm not sure what the relevant laws would be in any case. They do disclose the odds, I know that much.

    steam_sig.png
  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited August 7
    Include in a law that requires odds be disclosed that misrepresenting odds in promotions or collaborations bears the same penalty.

    Enforcement is always going to be tricky, hence why penalties sould be hefty (many consumer protection laws have been balanced on the assumption that every instance caught is many missed).


    It's ultimately going to be better from a legislative view to just NOT address this in particular, and simply adjust the definitions of gambling to effectively encompass loot boxes, and let the existing and extensive gambling rules and enforcement bodies do the heavy lifting.

    We can argue about every little offense but if the gambling label becomes official most of those offenses are already covered, and those that aren't are likely to be moot because the vast majority of games are going to move on from the whole concept.

    Hevach on
    Lord_AsmodeusElvenshaeMegaMek
  • Jeep-EepJeep-Eep Registered User regular
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=zIvHMcT-3e0

    UK officials have been pretty damning, particularly about trade of virtual items

    Also, Jim Stirling might be on the Beeb.

    I would rather be accused of intransigence than tolerating genocide for the sake of everyone getting along. - @Metzger Meister
    Martini_PhilosopherIncenjucarHeatwaveShadowfireLord_AsmodeusAegisLucedesGennenalyse RuebenElvenshae
  • Romantic UndeadRomantic Undead Registered User regular
    What guys? Don't you guys like being surprised? Don't you like that endorphin rush to feel when you randomly score some sweet loot? What's wrong with surprise mechanics? If you don't like it, you don't have to pay... I mean everyone you like to play with will call you a casual default player and judge you for your lack of swag, but it doesn't change the core gameplay, so who cares, right? Social pressure isn't a real thing, get out of here! Gambling addiction? Totally made up, gambling addicts are weak, flawed people who don't deserve compassion or respect, it's their own fault! I mean, if they can't help themselves into giving us all their money, why is it our social responsibility to refuse? We're a company, it's our moral obligation to make money! Do you hate capitalism? Are you anti-American?


    AAAAAAARGH!

    3DS FC: 1547-5210-6531
    Jeep-EepMartini_PhilosopherJazzEchoFANTOMASShadowfireLord_Asmodeus
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote: »
    We have one person willing to disclose the idea was at minimum floated and they don't know how far it went. There are many companies that develop games with lootboxes and offer streamers promotion opportunities. They will likely now be asked, but they will probably refuse to answer or dodge answering, and even if they're honest, the action is again not technically illegal. As long as the stream itself is disclosed as being sponsored, whatever is happening in the streamer's benefit (with or without their knowledge) doesn't have to be disclosed.

    It's a very weird angle introduced in all this and I'm grossed out by what might be discovered.

    I would not be surprised at all if companies were tweaking lootbox odds for certain streamers either with or without their knowledge. Lootboxes are skeevy, paying people to open lootboxes is skeevy, bumping the odds in what's basically an advertisement for your game in order to entice people to buy more lootboxes is just one more bit of skeeviness on top of the pile.

    Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to get it!
    Jeep-EepMartini_PhilosopherFencingsaxElvenshae
  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    edited September 12
    Henroid wrote: »
    Hey so, the FTC discovered that sponsored streamers were having their loot box odds manipulated by developers / publishers. That is astronomically fucked up.

    https://www.polygon.com/2019/8/7/20758974/ftc-loot-box-panel-streamer-publisher-sponsorships

    Edit - To get ahead of it, that action does NOT have to be disclosed, legally speaking. A stream being sponsored does, but any manipulation in the streamer's favor does not have to be. That is... wild. It makes me wonder how many streamers have favor being put on them without consenting to it.

    Not quite. Reading the article, one publisher offered to adjust the loot box odds, but there's no indication that it was accepted.

    What does appear common, though, is paying for streamers to open loot boxes on-stream. This fits in to the existing pattern where companies are using social pressure and normalization to encourage people to buy loot boxes. For example:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2017/11/03/call-of-duty-ww2-gives-out-rewards-for-watching-other-players-open-loot-boxes/#3b1a5c4f7589
    'Call Of Duty: World War 2' Gives Out Rewards For Watching Other Players Open Loot Boxes

    Why would companies do this? Because they want opening a loot box to seem normal, like something everyone does, and literally watching someone open loot boxes is a very good way to make you seem like the odd one out for not participating in the loot box system. By watching a streamer do this, it can also normalize opening a BUNCH of loot boxes, and therefore encourage buying more loot boxes than you might otherwise buy.

    It's the drop of black paint in the bucket of white. It doesn't matter if they didn't go through with it this time, it's the fact that now we know they can do it, and who knows if anybody else has ever taken them up on it? If they're willing to manipulate odds on boxes to give streamers better odds, they know their normal odds for getting anything decent are absolute shit.

    Stick a fork in them, lootboxes are done- isn't this false representation or fraud, too? Or something?

    JaysonFour on
    steam_sig.png
  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    Jeep-Eep wrote: »
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=zIvHMcT-3e0

    UK officials have been pretty damning, particularly about trade of virtual items

    Also, Jim Stirling might be on the Beeb.

    Here is another article covering the news that isn't on youtube. I find the most interesting thing is how they picked up on how willfully obtuse, sketchy and generally dodgy the representatives of various game companies were. It's almost like they know what the problem is and were willingly trying to hide it!

    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
    Jeep-EepHefflingElvenshae
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    I watched Sterling's YouTube on the news. I'm generally not a huge fan of 'I told you so', but he totally deserves to take his victory lap on this.

    Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to get it!
    CampyEchoJazzN1tSt4lkerIncenjucarMartini_PhilosopherShadowfireJeep-EepCaedwyrLord_AsmodeusMoridin889LucedesDee KaeLoisLaneElvenshae
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    daveNYC wrote: »
    I watched Sterling's YouTube on the news. I'm generally not a huge fan of 'I told you so', but he totally deserves to take his victory lap on this.

    I am not always onboard for Sterling's stuff but damn if the Sonic 2's "Casnio Night Zone" wasn't fucking perfect music for the i told you so video

    wbBv3fj.png
    mcdermottMartini_PhilosopherJeep-EepLucedesDee KaeTNTrooperElvenshae
  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    They really want lootboxes to die.
    We consider loot boxes that can be bought with real-world money and do not reveal their contents in advance to be games of chance played for money’s worth. The Government should bring forward regulations under section 6 of the Gambling Act 2005 in the next parliamentary session to specify that loot boxes are a game of chance. If it determines not to regulate loot boxes under the Act at this time, the Government should produce a paper clearly stating the reasons why it does not consider loot boxes paid for with real-world currency to be a game of chance played for money’s worth.
    They go over why "but you can't turn the stuff you get into real-world money" is bullshit, which puts lootboxes squarely into gambling, marketed to kids.


    Also, reposting the comments I made on another forum on the other sections of the report, because there's more in here than lootboxes, and it would be good to be aware of which way the wind is blowing:

    Gaming Disorder:
    They recognize that most people are able to handle video games in a responsible manner; however, there are people who can't, and the lack of research and funding for this is causing trouble getting those people help. Specifically for the UK, the NHS doesn't have a path for someone with gaming disorder to actually seek help. (They note that this is likely a symptom of other stress in the person's life that is causing them to withdraw from society.)

    They also note that the industry focus on parental controls is not sufficient, as kids usually have more technical knowledge than parents, and that 20-30-year-olds are also susceptible to this. (The stereotype is someone goes to college, and spends all their time playing WOW because college is stressful and there's no parents around to tell them to stop.)

    Recommendations: actually spend money on research, and require game companies to share aggregated user data with researchers, so that the researchers have a better idea of what actually causes problems. Tax games in order to fund this research.

    I'm not happy about a tax on games, but this research needs to be done.


    Age ratings:
    Companies state that it is parents' responsibility to not allow their children to play inappropriate games. However, parents aren't actually doing this, which means that the government might want to step in. A particular issue is that digital distribution doesn't have proper age gating in place.

    Recommendation: Digital game stores should prevent children from buying inappropriate games.

    However, later on the report notes the impossibility of actually doing this. Online casinos have techniques like "scanning a drivers license", or use of a webcam, but there's tension with the requirement not to store a bunch of information about a user that isn't needed. (And who wants to scan their license just to buy a game?) I would also point out that if parents are willing to buy mature games for their kids in stores, they're likely to do that online as well.

    Engagement:
    The design of many games are focused towards keeping people using their product for as long as possible, since that directly or indirectly leads to higher profits. This is combined with a setup where it's possible to spend an unlimited amount of money on the game.

    Recommendation: research into design mechanics, focused on creating regulation. (Note this this would be less "raid loot drops need to be increased 20%", and more "you can't have daily log in bonuses anymore".)


    In general, the most likely changes are a tax on games to fund actual research, and heavy regulation of lootboxes. Age gating online is dubious on a technical level, and there's a lack of data to build a useful regulatory framework on. Predatory design is a bit too far on the "I'll know it when I see it" side, without a good way to figure out what's actually harmful.

    Elvenshae
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Opty wrote: »
    The AAA lootbox churn is not built on paying for the game you're playing but instead is built for paying for the next game that will be made so that new game can be bigger and make more money so the next game can be bigger and make more money, etc. If at any point a game doesn't pull in enough lootbox revenue then the next game in the chain gets retooled to make more profit at the expense of mechanics. They're following the shareholder's bullshit expectation of infinite growth and "have" to put in these mechanics to keep their shortsighted idiot financial overlords happy. As long as they're legal, those shareholders will say "why aren't you maximizing profits by manipulating people via gambling and addiction? We're going to take our money out of the company if you don't do this unethical-but-legal thing."

    Personally, any anti-lootbox law that only targets digital blind boxes is not going far enough. Walk down any department store's toy aisle and you'll see dozens of blind box toys, all relying on gambling to ensure that you buy more in the hopes that you'll get what you want. Toys that have rarities, where 1 out of 20 of the toys in a brand new box is gold or whatever and there's no way for you as a consumer to know if someone picked it up already, so you may be spending your money for nothing.

    I say if companies want to have random mechanics to "enhance" the purchasing process, then they also need to offer a means to identify exactly what's inside before purchase so people who don't want to play that game can just get what they want and go. The first few sets of blind box/bag toys had ID numbers stamped on them that let you identify the contents due to the manufacturers being new to the whole blind box thing at the time and fucking it up, but I'd say those sorts of things should be legally mandated and make a return.

    I've never understood the allure of the blind-box toys. I get it with CCGs and the like, where there are chase cards you're hoping for, but the value of those cards is largely dependent on their use in the larger game. The rare toys in a run of blind-box figurines are just less common. But unless you're buying piles of the things, what does that even mean? If you care which toy of the set you get when you open the box, why not just buy a non-blind-box toy where you can see what you're getting?

    But yeah, I'd be happy to see all randomized products marketed to children either cease to exist or be forced to change their business model, both digital and physical.

    If they need to tax, they could tax "recurrent user spending" directly, thereby avoiding a cost to games that aren't involved.

    Jeep-Eep
  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    Aegeri wrote: »
    Jeep-Eep wrote: »
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=zIvHMcT-3e0

    UK officials have been pretty damning, particularly about trade of virtual items

    Also, Jim Stirling might be on the Beeb.

    Here is another article covering the news that isn't on youtube. I find the most interesting thing is how they picked up on how willfully obtuse, sketchy and generally dodgy the representatives of various game companies were. It's almost like they know what the problem is and were willingly trying to hide it!

    Video Games: The New Cigarette.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
    kime
  • Fartacus_the_MightyFartacus_the_Mighty Brought to you by the letter A.Registered User regular
    I was really glad to see #89's bit about players paying for stuff means that that stuff clearly has monetary value.

    Maybe, if that gets codified into law, it'll have the side effect of getting rid of the whole "introduce new OP item for $$$, then nerf when the sales die off" thing that some MMOs seem fond of.

    FencingsaxPolaritieElvenshae
  • furbatfurbat Registered User regular
    Good god, we are a stone's throw away from gaming companies being sued for not doing enough to prevent 'gaming disorder' aren't we?

    Little Johnny failed out of college? Better sue Blizzard.

  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Yeah that's totally what is happening.

    Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
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  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    It's almost like some people don't want to take responsibility for fuckups any more. Kid stayed up all night raiding instead of studying and bombed their final? Sue Blizzard for them losing the scholarship, it's certainly not the kid's fault for not studying or yours for not keeping an eye on them... oh, no, it's all Blizzard's, and nope, the promise of a fat "go away" payday isn't factoring into this at all- no sir, no way, no indeedy!

    There is absolutely a load of lawyers gearing up for class action lawsuits against gaming companies, because they smell easy $$$, and all they have to do is run a bit of pixelated blood and skin on the screen and parents get hopping mad enough to join them.

    steam_sig.png
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    It's almost like some people don't want to take responsibility for fuckups any more. Kid stayed up all night raiding instead of studying and bombed their final? Sue Blizzard for them losing the scholarship, it's certainly not the kid's fault for not studying or yours for not keeping an eye on them... oh, no, it's all Blizzard's, and nope, the promise of a fat "go away" payday isn't factoring into this at all- no sir, no way, no indeedy!

    There is absolutely a load of lawyers gearing up for class action lawsuits against gaming companies, because they smell easy $$$, and all they have to do is run a bit of pixelated blood and skin on the screen and parents get hopping mad enough to join them.

    Its almost like we have developed gaming into a science of addiction and purposefully designed products that are difficult to put down rather than ultimately rewarding. Almost as if knew the negative effects that it was having as we did it and then we kept doing it anyway.

    Oh wait, no, its exactly like that.

    And, i don't know, maybe the people who are responsible for doing that should pay back some of the societal damage they did.

    wbBv3fj.png
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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    It's almost like some people don't want to take responsibility for fuckups any more. Kid stayed up all night raiding instead of studying and bombed their final? Sue Blizzard for them losing the scholarship, it's certainly not the kid's fault for not studying or yours for not keeping an eye on them... oh, no, it's all Blizzard's, and nope, the promise of a fat "go away" payday isn't factoring into this at all- no sir, no way, no indeedy!

    There is absolutely a load of lawyers gearing up for class action lawsuits against gaming companies, because they smell easy $$$, and all they have to do is run a bit of pixelated blood and skin on the screen and parents get hopping mad enough to join them.

    Its almost like we have developed gaming into a science of addiction and purposefully designed products that are difficult to put down rather than ultimately rewarding. Almost as if knew the negative effects that it was having as we did it and then we kept doing it anyway.

    Oh wait, no, its exactly like that.

    And, i don't know, maybe the people who are responsible for doing that should pay back some of the societal damage they did.

    As always with these kind of issues, our conception of "personal responsibility" conflicts with how the human brain actually works and what we know about how people can be manipulated.

    Martini_Philosopherdestroyah87kimeNyysjanN1tSt4lkerGennenalyse RuebenHappy Little MachineIncenjucarHefflingBloodySlothMillJazzFencingsaxEchoPolaritiemrondeauGnizmoMoridin889Lord_AsmodeusAegeriShadowfireThawmusStabbity Style
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    Is there any reasonable way for parents to stop their kids at college from staying up all night raiding instead of studying? "Raise them better" is an unhelpful solution, considering that no one can agree on what exactly "raising someone well" means, and we aren't willing to take corrective action against parents in all but the most extreme of circumstances.

    If a few tweaks on the part on game developers can result in fewer students ruining chunks of their own lives, that would be an obvious public good.

  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Which is why we have a legal system and judges to figure these sorts of things out, not just give them a free pass to operate. Whether or not Blizzard (and other companies) knowingly caused harm to individuals by maximizing the addictive potential of a game, they still maximized the addictive potential of a game without concern for reasonable safeguards.

    This sort of thing needs legal attention, just like real-world gambling got decades ago when it was determined that it preys on vulnerable individuals to basically steal their money. This isn't made-up shit, this is stuff that's had piles of studies done on it and video games are just as real a platform for these addictions as slot machines. I don't really have any sympathy for the companies that make their money via this sleazy route because they've gone unregulated and unpunished for far too long as it is.

    discriderN1tSt4lkerHybridMoridin889ElvenshaeLord_AsmodeusbowenJeep-Eep
  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    I mean, I know that lootboxes need to be dealt with, easily. I'm just looking ahead to everybody who's ever glanced at something gaming-related to start flinging frivolous lawsuits at the game companies for every little thing that goes wrong in their lives. Smear the lootboxes all across the ground, for all to see. I'm just waiting for the lawsuit from the guy who stayed up three whole days raiding the new WoW expansion, missed their final, and then come whining to the court as to how Blizzard made him raid all three days and therefore they need to pay for him to retake the course with lots of punitive damages. Fall off a curb and fuck up your knee playing Pokemon Go? Sue Nintendo and Niantic, it's obviously their fault you didn't look where you were going!

    ...maybe I'm just getting old. I mean, if you screw up or make a stupid choice, step up and own it. If you decided your time was better spent in the new raid rather than studying for your final, I would think that's on you. If there's a real problem there, then yeah, go whole hog on it. But you're also going to get the "super mario got me to eat all these mushrooms and that's why I got fired for being high" types of cases.

    I don't want to see the industry turn into a piggy bank for stupid people and scummy lawyers, is the thing. But as far as lootboxes? Yeah, they need to pay through the nose for them.

    steam_sig.png
  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    I mean, I know that lootboxes need to be dealt with, easily. I'm just looking ahead to everybody who's ever glanced at something gaming-related to start flinging frivolous lawsuits at the game companies for every little thing that goes wrong in their lives. Smear the lootboxes all across the ground, for all to see. I'm just waiting for the lawsuit from the guy who stayed up three whole days raiding the new WoW expansion, missed their final, and then come whining to the court as to how Blizzard made him raid all three days and therefore they need to pay for him to retake the course with lots of punitive damages. Fall off a curb and fuck up your knee playing Pokemon Go? Sue Nintendo and Niantic, it's obviously their fault you didn't look where you were going!

    ...maybe I'm just getting old. I mean, if you screw up or make a stupid choice, step up and own it. If you decided your time was better spent in the new raid rather than studying for your final, I would think that's on you. If there's a real problem there, then yeah, go whole hog on it. But you're also going to get the "super mario got me to eat all these mushrooms and that's why I got fired for being high" types of cases.

    I don't want to see the industry turn into a piggy bank for stupid people and scummy lawyers, is the thing. But as far as lootboxes? Yeah, they need to pay through the nose for them.
    Or maybe you're just becomming goose.
    The whole "frivolous lawsuit" issue is largely an invention of people who don't want to be held responsible for their fuckups.
    Like a "sues macdonalds because their coffee is hot" thing usually drops the fact that the they had to go to a hospital because of the burns the coffee left on them.

    redxkimeBullheadJeep-EepThawmus
  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    edited September 14
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    I mean, I know that lootboxes need to be dealt with, easily. I'm just looking ahead to everybody who's ever glanced at something gaming-related to start flinging frivolous lawsuits at the game companies for every little thing that goes wrong in their lives. Smear the lootboxes all across the ground, for all to see. I'm just waiting for the lawsuit from the guy who stayed up three whole days raiding the new WoW expansion, missed their final, and then come whining to the court as to how Blizzard made him raid all three days and therefore they need to pay for him to retake the course with lots of punitive damages. Fall off a curb and fuck up your knee playing Pokemon Go? Sue Nintendo and Niantic, it's obviously their fault you didn't look where you were going!

    ...maybe I'm just getting old. I mean, if you screw up or make a stupid choice, step up and own it. If you decided your time was better spent in the new raid rather than studying for your final, I would think that's on you. If there's a real problem there, then yeah, go whole hog on it. But you're also going to get the "super mario got me to eat all these mushrooms and that's why I got fired for being high" types of cases.

    I don't want to see the industry turn into a piggy bank for stupid people and scummy lawyers, is the thing. But as far as lootboxes? Yeah, they need to pay through the nose for them.

    And I really feel like dismissing the actual, proven psychological vulnerability side of this just because this theoretical guy was "only" playing a video game is a huge logical failing. Gambling with cards or running a raid is ultimately still just playing a game, but casinos running card games is simply an activity with established restrictions and monitoring. Something like WoW raids should absolutely be subject to the same restrictions as gambling, as the whole thing is designed to extract as much player and money as it can get away with without driving away the player. And unlike actual gambling, there's no possibility of any kind of actual real-world payoff; at best, you get some raid gear you can trade off for money, but otherwise have totally fictional digital items.

    People aren't allowed to spend an excessive amount of time in casinos. This isn't overbearing state control, this is the state preventing casinos from drawing in and ruining the lives of people subject to gambling addiction. Some thing like WoW should certainly be subject to the same restrictions, because there are people who are inherently and unavoidably vulnerable to needing to sit down and grind out those raids.

    Dismissively labeling the issue as "just a game" means that casinos should also be able to legally veil all their shittiness by presenting their Skinner Boxes in a digital format. Blizzard has spent a fortune on finding the best ways to keep people locked into their game, but how much of that have they spent making sure people aren't literally hooked? Because I'm betting there's basically no budget at all for that as there's no legal aspect forcing them to not abuse the vulnerable.

    Ninja Snarl P on
    NyysjanMoridin889kimeLord_AsmodeusJeep-Eep
  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    I mean, I know that lootboxes need to be dealt with, easily. I'm just looking ahead to everybody who's ever glanced at something gaming-related to start flinging frivolous lawsuits at the game companies for every little thing that goes wrong in their lives. Smear the lootboxes all across the ground, for all to see. I'm just waiting for the lawsuit from the guy who stayed up three whole days raiding the new WoW expansion, missed their final, and then come whining to the court as to how Blizzard made him raid all three days and therefore they need to pay for him to retake the course with lots of punitive damages. Fall off a curb and fuck up your knee playing Pokemon Go? Sue Nintendo and Niantic, it's obviously their fault you didn't look where you were going!

    ...maybe I'm just getting old. I mean, if you screw up or make a stupid choice, step up and own it. If you decided your time was better spent in the new raid rather than studying for your final, I would think that's on you. If there's a real problem there, then yeah, go whole hog on it. But you're also going to get the "super mario got me to eat all these mushrooms and that's why I got fired for being high" types of cases.

    I don't want to see the industry turn into a piggy bank for stupid people and scummy lawyers, is the thing. But as far as lootboxes? Yeah, they need to pay through the nose for them.
    Or maybe you're just becomming goose.
    The whole "frivolous lawsuit" issue is largely an invention of people who don't want to be held responsible for their fuckups.
    Like a "sues macdonalds because their coffee is hot" thing usually drops the fact that the they had to go to a hospital because of the burns the coffee left on them.

    ...I'm not trying to come off as a goose, not at all. I mean, at least I hope I'm not- that wasn't my intention at all. If I am, I apologize. ...I don't think I've ever tried to be a goose in my time here on the forums. Like I said, I'm not trying to be one.

    I hate lootboxes. I want to see them eradicated from games because they're fucking predatory, and the only reason they exist is because the publishers don't think they make enough money. I would welcome the chance for game companies that rely on lootboxes to get a day in court to explain and to be held responsible.

    But at the same time, I also know there is a small segment of the population who will immediately glom onto the fact we're finally taking game companies to task for things like loot boxes and they'll try and come in and say stupid things to try and get some go-away money, like blaming Nintendo for the fact they did a bunch of mushrooms before a job interview and blame a Mario game for it.

    ...or maybe this is a question that either needs a better thread or to be dropped entirely, because if it's getting me called a goose, then maybe it's not a thread I ought to be involved in.

    steam_sig.png
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    A number of gaming companies are psychological predators first and foremost. This is something that game developers are discussing actively, as some of us have better or worse ethics. The games industry is absolutely aware of this. We literally hire psychologists to figure out how to get past your mental defenses.

    NyysjanmrondeauredxMoridin889LoisLanekimemcdermottElvenshaeBullheadLord_AsmodeusshrykeNobodyMartini_PhilosopherJeep-EepThawmus
  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    I mean, I know that lootboxes need to be dealt with, easily. I'm just looking ahead to everybody who's ever glanced at something gaming-related to start flinging frivolous lawsuits at the game companies for every little thing that goes wrong in their lives. Smear the lootboxes all across the ground, for all to see. I'm just waiting for the lawsuit from the guy who stayed up three whole days raiding the new WoW expansion, missed their final, and then come whining to the court as to how Blizzard made him raid all three days and therefore they need to pay for him to retake the course with lots of punitive damages. Fall off a curb and fuck up your knee playing Pokemon Go? Sue Nintendo and Niantic, it's obviously their fault you didn't look where you were going!

    ...maybe I'm just getting old. I mean, if you screw up or make a stupid choice, step up and own it. If you decided your time was better spent in the new raid rather than studying for your final, I would think that's on you. If there's a real problem there, then yeah, go whole hog on it. But you're also going to get the "super mario got me to eat all these mushrooms and that's why I got fired for being high" types of cases.

    I don't want to see the industry turn into a piggy bank for stupid people and scummy lawyers, is the thing. But as far as lootboxes? Yeah, they need to pay through the nose for them.
    Or maybe you're just becomming goose.
    The whole "frivolous lawsuit" issue is largely an invention of people who don't want to be held responsible for their fuckups.
    Like a "sues macdonalds because their coffee is hot" thing usually drops the fact that the they had to go to a hospital because of the burns the coffee left on them.

    ...I'm not trying to come off as a goose, not at all. I mean, at least I hope I'm not- that wasn't my intention at all. If I am, I apologize. ...I don't think I've ever tried to be a goose in my time here on the forums. Like I said, I'm not trying to be one.

    I hate lootboxes. I want to see them eradicated from games because they're fucking predatory, and the only reason they exist is because the publishers don't think they make enough money. I would welcome the chance for game companies that rely on lootboxes to get a day in court to explain and to be held responsible.

    But at the same time, I also know there is a small segment of the population who will immediately glom onto the fact we're finally taking game companies to task for things like loot boxes and they'll try and come in and say stupid things to try and get some go-away money, like blaming Nintendo for the fact they did a bunch of mushrooms before a job interview and blame a Mario game for it.

    ...or maybe this is a question that either needs a better thread or to be dropped entirely, because if it's getting me called a goose, then maybe it's not a thread I ought to be involved in.

    You either need a semi-plausible case or a sack full of money to get a lawyer to represent you, and representing yourself is a quick way to lose. This isn't really something to worry about.

    Nyysjanmrondeau
  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    I mean, I know that lootboxes need to be dealt with, easily. I'm just looking ahead to everybody who's ever glanced at something gaming-related to start flinging frivolous lawsuits at the game companies for every little thing that goes wrong in their lives. Smear the lootboxes all across the ground, for all to see. I'm just waiting for the lawsuit from the guy who stayed up three whole days raiding the new WoW expansion, missed their final, and then come whining to the court as to how Blizzard made him raid all three days and therefore they need to pay for him to retake the course with lots of punitive damages. Fall off a curb and fuck up your knee playing Pokemon Go? Sue Nintendo and Niantic, it's obviously their fault you didn't look where you were going!

    ...maybe I'm just getting old. I mean, if you screw up or make a stupid choice, step up and own it. If you decided your time was better spent in the new raid rather than studying for your final, I would think that's on you. If there's a real problem there, then yeah, go whole hog on it. But you're also going to get the "super mario got me to eat all these mushrooms and that's why I got fired for being high" types of cases.

    I don't want to see the industry turn into a piggy bank for stupid people and scummy lawyers, is the thing. But as far as lootboxes? Yeah, they need to pay through the nose for them.
    Or maybe you're just becomming goose.
    The whole "frivolous lawsuit" issue is largely an invention of people who don't want to be held responsible for their fuckups.
    Like a "sues macdonalds because their coffee is hot" thing usually drops the fact that the they had to go to a hospital because of the burns the coffee left on them.

    ...I'm not trying to come off as a goose, not at all. I mean, at least I hope I'm not- that wasn't my intention at all. If I am, I apologize. ...I don't think I've ever tried to be a goose in my time here on the forums. Like I said, I'm not trying to be one.

    I hate lootboxes. I want to see them eradicated from games because they're fucking predatory, and the only reason they exist is because the publishers don't think they make enough money. I would welcome the chance for game companies that rely on lootboxes to get a day in court to explain and to be held responsible.

    But at the same time, I also know there is a small segment of the population who will immediately glom onto the fact we're finally taking game companies to task for things like loot boxes and they'll try and come in and say stupid things to try and get some go-away money, like blaming Nintendo for the fact they did a bunch of mushrooms before a job interview and blame a Mario game for it.

    ...or maybe this is a question that either needs a better thread or to be dropped entirely, because if it's getting me called a goose, then maybe it's not a thread I ought to be involved in.
    And then the courts can call them out for being geese and have them pay Nintendos legal fees.
    I'm honestly having trouble trying to understand this fear you have.
    Do you really think there is significant enough a population that they would somehow harm Nintendo's bottom line?
    That suddenly no more Mario games would be made? That courts could not see that as the ridiculous suit it is?

  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    I mean, I know that lootboxes need to be dealt with, easily. I'm just looking ahead to everybody who's ever glanced at something gaming-related to start flinging frivolous lawsuits at the game companies for every little thing that goes wrong in their lives. Smear the lootboxes all across the ground, for all to see. I'm just waiting for the lawsuit from the guy who stayed up three whole days raiding the new WoW expansion, missed their final, and then come whining to the court as to how Blizzard made him raid all three days and therefore they need to pay for him to retake the course with lots of punitive damages. Fall off a curb and fuck up your knee playing Pokemon Go? Sue Nintendo and Niantic, it's obviously their fault you didn't look where you were going!

    ...maybe I'm just getting old. I mean, if you screw up or make a stupid choice, step up and own it. If you decided your time was better spent in the new raid rather than studying for your final, I would think that's on you. If there's a real problem there, then yeah, go whole hog on it. But you're also going to get the "super mario got me to eat all these mushrooms and that's why I got fired for being high" types of cases.

    I don't want to see the industry turn into a piggy bank for stupid people and scummy lawyers, is the thing. But as far as lootboxes? Yeah, they need to pay through the nose for them.

    We have very concrete examples of very similar activities in other industries, and we have, as a society, taken action to regulate those industries without outright banning them.

    It's very easy to see the analogy between loot boxes and slot machines, and we've successfully regulated slot machines specifically and the gambling/casino industry at large without completely eliminating the industry.

    It's also easy to see the analogy between loot boxes and tobacco, wherein you are preying on your customers addictions and engage in activities like lobbying the government. But ultimately, society decided that tobacco needed to be regulated. The tobacco industry hasn't been destroyed.

    It's possible for us to regulate loot boxes without allowing video games to be utterly destroyed by frivolous lawsuits.

    Slippery slopes are a valid concern with any attempts to regulate. But you have to apply some common sense. When your argument is that the video game industry will be destroyed because of lawsuits based on "super mario got me to eat all these mushrooms and that's why I got fired for being high", maybe take a step back and apply some common sense?

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    I mean, I know that lootboxes need to be dealt with, easily. I'm just looking ahead to everybody who's ever glanced at something gaming-related to start flinging frivolous lawsuits at the game companies for every little thing that goes wrong in their lives. Smear the lootboxes all across the ground, for all to see. I'm just waiting for the lawsuit from the guy who stayed up three whole days raiding the new WoW expansion, missed their final, and then come whining to the court as to how Blizzard made him raid all three days and therefore they need to pay for him to retake the course with lots of punitive damages. Fall off a curb and fuck up your knee playing Pokemon Go? Sue Nintendo and Niantic, it's obviously their fault you didn't look where you were going!

    ...maybe I'm just getting old. I mean, if you screw up or make a stupid choice, step up and own it. If you decided your time was better spent in the new raid rather than studying for your final, I would think that's on you. If there's a real problem there, then yeah, go whole hog on it. But you're also going to get the "super mario got me to eat all these mushrooms and that's why I got fired for being high" types of cases.

    I don't want to see the industry turn into a piggy bank for stupid people and scummy lawyers, is the thing. But as far as lootboxes? Yeah, they need to pay through the nose for them.
    Or maybe you're just becomming goose.
    The whole "frivolous lawsuit" issue is largely an invention of people who don't want to be held responsible for their fuckups.
    Like a "sues macdonalds because their coffee is hot" thing usually drops the fact that the they had to go to a hospital because of the burns the coffee left on them.

    ...I'm not trying to come off as a goose, not at all. I mean, at least I hope I'm not- that wasn't my intention at all. If I am, I apologize. ...I don't think I've ever tried to be a goose in my time here on the forums. Like I said, I'm not trying to be one.

    I hate lootboxes. I want to see them eradicated from games because they're fucking predatory, and the only reason they exist is because the publishers don't think they make enough money. I would welcome the chance for game companies that rely on lootboxes to get a day in court to explain and to be held responsible.

    But at the same time, I also know there is a small segment of the population who will immediately glom onto the fact we're finally taking game companies to task for things like loot boxes and they'll try and come in and say stupid things to try and get some go-away money, like blaming Nintendo for the fact they did a bunch of mushrooms before a job interview and blame a Mario game for it.

    ...or maybe this is a question that either needs a better thread or to be dropped entirely, because if it's getting me called a goose, then maybe it's not a thread I ought to be involved in.

    You either need a semi-plausible case or a sack full of money to get a lawyer to represent you, and representing yourself is a quick way to lose. This isn't really something to worry about.

    ...I think you're right. I'm just one of those types who just thinks of every possible situation that might come down the pike, is all. My brain gets like that sometimes- it gets hung up on the small details and things. Well, that and not trying to come off as a goose. (Sorry if it looked like I was coming off as one, I really wasn't trying.)

    I'm just amazed at how far developers will go for a buck these days. I grew up in the 8 and 16-bit era, and I was just used to going out and buying a game that looked good- it's what I've always done. But at actively trying to psychologically manipulate me to spend more (remember the infamous plant scene in Hogwarts Mystery- the one set right about as you run out of energy, leaving your avatar wrapped up and slowly being strangled by Devil's Snare and in obvious distress?), that's... really, really fucked up. Why can't they just make a decent game and sell the damn thing and make money that way, like they used to?

    steam_sig.png
  • reVersereVerse Registered User regular
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    Why can't they just make a decent game and sell the damn thing and make money that way, like they used to?

    Because while that would make them money, it won't make them geometrically increasing sums of money quarter after quarter.

    RMS OceanicNyysjanQuidIncenjucarSolarMillJazzDee KaeFANTOMAS38thDoemrondeaudestroyah87PolaritieMoridin889DarkPrimuskimeEtiowsaElvenshaeHefflingLord_AsmodeusshrykeShadowfireMartini_PhilosopherDacbowenThawmus
  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    reVerse wrote: »
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    Why can't they just make a decent game and sell the damn thing and make money that way, like they used to?

    Because while that would make them money, it won't make them geometrically increasing sums of money quarter after quarter.

    ...I'm starting to think I might have approved more of how games were developed before all of this shit became normal.

    steam_sig.png
  • -Loki--Loki- Don't pee in my mouth and tell me it's raining. Registered User regular
    reVerse wrote: »
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    Why can't they just make a decent game and sell the damn thing and make money that way, like they used to?

    Because while that would make them money, it won't make them geometrically increasing sums of money quarter after quarter.

    They can do this without loot boxes. Some studios survive off DLC - Creative Assembly, Paradox, etc. This has another problem that it makes games look obscenely expensive to buy into if a gamer is the type that feels they need to buy everything just to start and get in late, but it does nicely retain customers while giving them something relatively worthwhile for the money they spend. Also those levels of DLC aren't needed, other games get by fine by releasing a few sets of DLC as a season pass and then moving on to their next game.

    Loot boxes are just by far the easiest money pit to design.

    ElvenshaeLord_AsmodeusbowenJeep-Eep
  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    reVerse wrote: »
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    Why can't they just make a decent game and sell the damn thing and make money that way, like they used to?

    Because while that would make them money, it won't make them geometrically increasing sums of money quarter after quarter.

    ...I'm starting to think I might have approved more of how games were developed before all of this shit became normal.
    Part of me wonders if the games were developed in better ways before, or if we were just less aware of how shitty the dev cycle was.
    And i suspect it was later, rather than former.
    Lootboxes and micro transactions are just more obvious. And it still has taken decade+ before we actually started to fight back in any meaningful way.

  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    I don't care if some video game companies get sued over their games, tbh. They marketed gambling to children and threw up their hands in horror at the idea that they might have to dial that back. The industry is a cesspool of working practices surrounding loot boxes, crunch time, barely paid testers, covered up abuse etc. It needs to be ripped wide open.

    HeatwaveJazzkimeLord_AsmodeusInquisitor77shrykeNobodyShadowfireMartini_PhilosopherLilnoobsDacbowenJeep-EepThawmusStabbity Style
  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    -Loki- wrote: »
    reVerse wrote: »
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    Why can't they just make a decent game and sell the damn thing and make money that way, like they used to?

    Because while that would make them money, it won't make them geometrically increasing sums of money quarter after quarter.

    They can do this without loot boxes. Some studios survive off DLC - Creative Assembly, Paradox, etc. This has another problem that it makes games look obscenely expensive to buy into if a gamer is the type that feels they need to buy everything just to start and get in late, but it does nicely retain customers while giving them something relatively worthwhile for the money they spend. Also those levels of DLC aren't needed, other games get by fine by releasing a few sets of DLC as a season pass and then moving on to their next game.

    Loot boxes are just by far the easiest money pit to design.

    Usually if there's a crapload of DLC, I start looking for sales and complete editions, because picking stuff up piecemeal is a good way to find yourself down the rabbit hole. I mean, look at a favorite of mine- DC Universe Online. The base game is free, but once you get to the postgame stuff, you're looking at an absolutely huge pile of DLC- about half of which you have to buy piece by piece, or you can subscribe to the game and just play everything. But staring at that pile is just daunting for a new player, because then you wonder how much you need, first off, and then how fast are you going to work through it before you get to your new content cap and have to buy more?

    I applaud at least that there's a way to have all of the DLC unlocked for you for one price, but if they were really serious, they'd introduce more DLC bundles and the like so it's not so daunting to get to the current content cap.

    steam_sig.png
  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    reVerse wrote: »
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    Why can't they just make a decent game and sell the damn thing and make money that way, like they used to?

    Because while that would make them money, it won't make them geometrically increasing sums of money quarter after quarter.

    ...I'm starting to think I might have approved more of how games were developed before all of this shit became normal.

    I've hated the shift in game development ever since microtransactions became a thing, the trend has been nothing but a cancer on good game development since it started. You remember when games used to have fun cheat codes? Can't have that shit anymore, it's gotta be parceled out as paid (extra!) content. Neat alternate costumes? Have to pack that crap into lootboxes to make it tenfold more time consuming to get, but with a convenient cash option to speed up the process (but not skip it!). New maps? DLC. Double new maps? Split it up and sell it as four map packs. Expansion pack? To hell with that, bloat it out a bit and call it a sequel, now with lootboxes!

    There's a reason the industry has been plagued with mediocre sequels instead of new originals, and it's mostly because nobody wants to make new original content when they can just use rewarmed old content to mine people out with lootboxes and microtransactions.

    Jeep-Eep
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