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Lootboxes, Microtransactions, and [Gambling in Gaming]

milskimilski Their Will comes, at last, to Earth, to the Neath, as a storm crosses the sea.Registered User regular
NOTE: This topic is intended to be specifically about lootboxes, their effects on players, and potential regulation. It is not intended to be a thread to bash specific companies or discuss the games, outside of examples of how lootboxes are implemented.

With the Star Wars: Battlefront 2 fiasco ongoing, there has been a renewed wave of pressure to regulate lootboxes and other microtransations in some fashion, with many people explicitly arguing these systems are predatory and equivalent to gambling. For those who don't know, Battlefront 2 released with an extremely aggressive lootbox system, where direct upgrades, core franchise characters like Darth Vader, and key options were all locked behind totally random lootboxes or literal days of grinding.

A large segment of this outcry has come from the gaming community, who is understandably upset about a beloved franchise being used as part of a naked cashgrab that does not even pretend player enjoyment is coequal with extracting value from whales. But it's also reached the public and legislative sphere, with lawmakers from Hawaii giving a speech that claimed these practices were gambling and advertising the games was equivalent to Joe Camel advertising cigarettes to kids. And it can't be denied that these systems, while ostensibly targeting people with disposable income who like to spend it, also target people with compulsive behaviors and children who don't know better.

On the other hand, regulating these lootboxes as gambling is tricky because of the wide net any definition would cast. The difference between the lootboxes in Battlefront 2 and card packs in Hearthstone is mostly in the monetization strategy; Battlefront 2 has a fixed cost up front and makes it nearly impossible to freely get rewards, while Hearthstone is free to play and nobody expected rewards to come quickly without spending money. From a legislative standpoint, both of these games, and even games with cosmetic rewards like Overwatch, would be effectively the same thing: paying money for a randomized, zero-real-money-value reward. Further, it's hard to see how regulating in-game randomized rewards would not also affect systems like the Steam Marketplace or real-world trading card games like Magic: The Gathering, where the rewards actually do have physical value. Maybe the Steam Marketplace is an acceptable casualty given how it encourages openly gambling, but are trading cards problematic enough they need to be swept up in the regulation? I honestly don't know.

So what are your thoughts on this issue? Should lootboxes be regulated? If so, what sort of legislation would you prefer? And what about countries that do implement regulations; what sort of pitfalls can be avoided?

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  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    I'm not sure it is enough but as a start what China did with loot box contents and probabilities being clearly visible seems solid.

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  • milskimilski Their Will comes, at last, to Earth, to the Neath, as a storm crosses the sea. Registered User regular
    I'm not sure it is enough but as a start what China did with loot box contents and probabilities being clearly visible seems solid.

    I agree 100% with the idea of all lootboxes needing clear reward probabilities, it's hardly an onerous restriction. It would especially help with Valve's obnoxious "sliding rarity" lootboxes where supposedly the ultra rare rewards become more common as you open more boxes. The issue comes with how you audit the code, I guess.

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  • ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    I'm glad to see something coming of this. I'm happy to play the occasional gacha game, but it seems like all the big publishers want every game to also be a slot machine.

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  • IblisIblis Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    Also there can be flaws with how they define buying lootboxes. IE: In China Blizzard has famously stopped selling lootboxes, and instead sells a paltry amount of currency that just so happens to come with a complementary set of lootboxes. So now they don't have to disclose their odds.

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  • silence1186silence1186 Character shields down! As a wingmanRegistered User regular
    edited November 2017
    Belgium is considering trying for an EU-wide ban on lootboxes.

    The matter is still under investigation, but of particular concern is the "aggressive targeting" of children.

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  • SiliconStewSiliconStew Registered User regular
    Belgium's Gaming Commission also says it's gambling and is going to be pushing the EU to ban it completely.

    In my opinion, paying money for a randomized outcome is by definition gambling and should be regulated as such. That is, any game with such a mechanic should get an Adults-Only rating. If you want to keep microtransactions in a game accessible to kids, then do so with a store that allows you to buy a known item for a known amount with no randomization.

    Just remember that half the people you meet are below average intelligence.
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  • destroyah87destroyah87 Registered User regular
    China's legislation requiring openly publishing box contents and probabilities is the minimum I want to see be adopted. And the fact that China-Blizzard/China-Overwatch changed their lootbox system in response is very telling that there might have been (or are) shenanigans afoot.

    Basically, my stance has solidified in the last few weeks as (minimum): "I don't really care what practices a game implements in regards to lootboxes but you better believe it all should be clearly stated to the consumer. Let them see everything your product is doing and make their own choices. Oh, and putting gambling-equivalent systems in games marketed and played by minors is always going to be slightly scummy."

    I'm ok with new or rewritten regulation casting a wide net and requiring changes for CCG's that have randomized packs or online digital marketplaces. I don't think a full ban is necessary. But there has to be some changes. I'd say any entity using randomized rewards should have to do these two things:
    1) Post the exact contents and odds of rewards (and any circumstances that alter contents/odds) you can purchase from the entity.
    2) Provide a secondary acquisition method (or prove one exists) such that a consumer has an easy and fair method of acquiring any specific reward.

    There are other thoughts I could add, but they're hard to articulate in such a way that I don't immediately start shooting holes in my own statements. And in my hypothetical points, adding an option to buy a whole set of cards direct from the manufacturer or for shops to buy/open enough randomized packs to resell any individual card would/should cover CCG's such as MtG. Basically, there are already secondary markets for buying/selling individual items, so CCG's could get a sort of pass on that point.

    TL:DR version: Gambling is regulated, so there should be more regulations on video games that include randomized rewards purchased/presented in a manner similar to gambling.

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  • milskimilski Their Will comes, at last, to Earth, to the Neath, as a storm crosses the sea. Registered User regular
    I feel like Overwatch would definitely have trouble with publishing odds as we know their lootboxes aren't random, in that they give at least one epic/legendary every X/Y boxes. So there's definitely some active weighting of the odds going on.

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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    I feel like Overwatch would definitely have trouble with publishing odds as we know their lootboxes aren't random, in that they give at least one epic/legendary every X/Y boxes. So there's definitely some active weighting of the odds going on.

    Eh, you can have floating odds as long the formula, base, and current odds are all available.

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  • HerrCronHerrCron It that wickedly supports taxation Registered User regular
    Belgium's Gaming Commission also says it's gambling and is going to be pushing the EU to ban it completely.

    In my opinion, paying money for a randomized outcome is by definition gambling and should be regulated as such. That is, any game with such a mechanic should get an Adults-Only rating. If you want to keep microtransactions in a game accessible to kids, then do so with a store that allows you to buy a known item for a known amount with no randomization.

    In that case Belgium better be pushing to have kinder eggs and football stickers classed as gambling as well.

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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    Belgium is considering trying for an EU-wide ban on lootboxes.

    The matter is still under investigation, but of particular concern is the "aggressive targeting" of children.

    two questions on this front:

    1: aren't the games rated T?
    2: how are children buying lootboxes? they don't have credit cards.

    edit: just to put this out there, I think that lootboxes containing anything other than cosmetic items are stupid and I'd be fine if they go the way of the dodo

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  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    Lootboxes should be required to post odds and should be required to maintain a secondary market for user trades and sales free of any usage or listing fee, at minimum. That would put things in line with ccgs/baseball cards/blind packs, which is the minimal acceptable level imho.

    Right now you essentially have gambling except not even because these systems wouldn’t pass regulatory muster in vegas.

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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Lootboxes should be required to post odds and should be required to maintain a secondary market for user trades and sales free of any usage or listing fee, at minimum. That would put things in line with ccgs/baseball cards/blind packs, which is the minimal acceptable level imho.

    Right now you essentially have gambling except not even because these systems wouldn’t pass regulatory muster in vegas.

    Huh. "Would be legal in Vegas" seems like a good starting point. Easy soundbite, though Vegas actually has very tight regulation on slot machines and such (minimum payout rates, inspections, etc)

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    I would feel better about a subscription based service platform for content providers, like nexus + patreon. I would like my total monthly subscription in an obvious place on my platform profile with a link to the breakdown and a universal code that is compatible with a subscription financing aggregator. Additionally, I would like this information in monthly emailed reports.

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  • IlpalaIlpala Just this guy, y'know Texas booniesRegistered User regular
    They're definitely gambling and definitely predatory, as someone who has spent *mumblemumble* on them. Clear rates/adjustments ala "pity legendary" either visible or accessible through a clickable link on the purchase page should be bare minimum. Something else that could help combat it is a displayed running tally of weekly/monthly spending with pop-ups to alert crossing certain thresholds, that could be opted out of by user's own volition, not automatically.

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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    I think there are definitely loopholes in our reward seeking behavior that make loot boxes very profitable by means of exploitation. Much like there are very specific things advertisers can do to maximize the odds we will remember the name of their product. I always assumed eventually we'd be in a position where we'd have to decide at what point companies were offering a product or feeding a psychological need bordering on addiction. Traditional gambling has always worked that way, you're essentially giving someone money for no guaranteed service or product.

    I don't feel comfortable with business models based around exploitative addiction. If loot boxes weren't available for real money or if the items within them were available for direct purchase so you know what product/reward you are buying, I'd probably be okay with it. It would still be kind of creepy as a route to profit as they could price individual items for whatever they like. The only additional requirement I think we should have is that companies don't get to use ridiculous third-hand token/currency systems. It adds a layer of separation to cost vs service, and it's done so since arcades started using tokens instead of quarters.

  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Belgium is considering trying for an EU-wide ban on lootboxes.

    The matter is still under investigation, but of particular concern is the "aggressive targeting" of children.

    two questions on this front:

    1: aren't the games rated T?
    2: how are children buying lootboxes? they don't have credit cards.

    edit: just to put this out there, I think that lootboxes containing anything other than cosmetic items are stupid and I'd be fine if they go the way of the dodo

    I don’t really think the how matters in reguards to predatory business practices. Think of it in terms of the tobacco industry: People under 18 cannot legally buy cigarettes, yet the industry still aggressively targeted children in order to get them hooked on their product. Yes, we have the T - M rating (which really doesn’t do much), but it’s a different arguement between how kids get the cigarettes/loot boxes and the business side purposely targeting vulnerable people to exploit.

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  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    I like the idea of "vegas legal" being a starting point.

    I think it would be great to show the following things somewhere:

    - standard distribution rate in a loot box of rares, uncommons and common drops posted publically
    - chances of getting an extra rare card (1:30,000 or 1:25, which is it?)
    - the actual value of winnings you just gambled for - make it clear you spent 4.99 to get 37 cents of stuff.
    - the ability to "cash in" your winnings back into the game for credit. screw the open market and steam trades. Obi Wan Kenobi is a 100 dollar chip? Just give me 100, thanks.

    That would much more closely match gambling, expose just how bad the current system is, and skew towards lower prices on loot boxes or better distributions.

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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Belgium is considering trying for an EU-wide ban on lootboxes.

    The matter is still under investigation, but of particular concern is the "aggressive targeting" of children.

    two questions on this front:

    1: aren't the games rated T?
    2: how are children buying lootboxes? they don't have credit cards.

    edit: just to put this out there, I think that lootboxes containing anything other than cosmetic items are stupid and I'd be fine if they go the way of the dodo

    I don’t really think the how matters in reguards to predatory business practices. Think of it in terms of the tobacco industry: People under 18 cannot legally buy cigarettes, yet the industry still aggressively targeted children in order to get them hooked on their product. Yes, we have the T - M rating (which really doesn’t do much), but it’s a different arguement between how kids get the cigarettes/loot boxes and the business side purposely targeting vulnerable people to exploit.

    I agree, but it's a bit different in this case. it's not as though some 12 year old has a credit card. If someone's mom or dad wants to plunk a $20 on random garbage, who cares? If said person is 16 or 18 or however old you are to have your own CC, who cares? How are they targeting kids as opposed to targeting everyone who plays the game?

  • milskimilski Their Will comes, at last, to Earth, to the Neath, as a storm crosses the sea. Registered User regular
    syndalis wrote: »
    I like the idea of "vegas legal" being a starting point.

    I think it would be great to show the following things somewhere:

    - standard distribution rate in a loot box of rares, uncommons and common drops posted publically
    - chances of getting an extra rare card (1:30,000 or 1:25, which is it?)
    - the actual value of winnings you just gambled for - make it clear you spent 4.99 to get 37 cents of stuff.
    - the ability to "cash in" your winnings back into the game for credit. screw the open market and steam trades. Obi Wan Kenobi is a 100 dollar chip? Just give me 100, thanks.

    That would much more closely match gambling, expose just how bad the current system is, and skew towards lower prices on loot boxes or better distributions.

    The issue with the last two is that the "real world" value of many of these items is arbitrary/nonexistant. How do you value the items from an Overwatch Lootbox? By definition, (over the long term) every lootbox contains one Lootbox-Value of items.

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  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    milski wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    I like the idea of "vegas legal" being a starting point.

    I think it would be great to show the following things somewhere:

    - standard distribution rate in a loot box of rares, uncommons and common drops posted publically
    - chances of getting an extra rare card (1:30,000 or 1:25, which is it?)
    - the actual value of winnings you just gambled for - make it clear you spent 4.99 to get 37 cents of stuff.
    - the ability to "cash in" your winnings back into the game for credit. screw the open market and steam trades. Obi Wan Kenobi is a 100 dollar chip? Just give me 100, thanks.

    That would much more closely match gambling, expose just how bad the current system is, and skew towards lower prices on loot boxes or better distributions.

    The issue with the last two is that the "real world" value of many of these items is arbitrary/nonexistant. How do you value the items from an Overwatch Lootbox? By definition, (over the long term) every lootbox contains one Lootbox-Value of items.

    you do it by ascribing value to it as a company.

    If this is gambling, make it gambling. Say that you can "cash in" your 20 dollar yoda for 20 bucks, or use it in the game, thus removing that yoda from circulation.

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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    I like the idea of "vegas legal" being a starting point.

    I think it would be great to show the following things somewhere:

    - standard distribution rate in a loot box of rares, uncommons and common drops posted publically
    - chances of getting an extra rare card (1:30,000 or 1:25, which is it?)
    - the actual value of winnings you just gambled for - make it clear you spent 4.99 to get 37 cents of stuff.
    - the ability to "cash in" your winnings back into the game for credit. screw the open market and steam trades. Obi Wan Kenobi is a 100 dollar chip? Just give me 100, thanks.

    That would much more closely match gambling, expose just how bad the current system is, and skew towards lower prices on loot boxes or better distributions.

    The issue with the last two is that the "real world" value of many of these items is arbitrary/nonexistant. How do you value the items from an Overwatch Lootbox? By definition, (over the long term) every lootbox contains one Lootbox-Value of items.

    Well, if you allow a secondary market you get valuations from that. It's one of the reasons TCGs are less of a problem.

    Otherwise, you'd just have to say that Obi-Wan is a $100 chip, and Vader is a $80 chip, and so on, with rules on changing the value after the fact and distribution of value (just look to Vegas and slots, in the end). Though this is problematic when we consider the model of giving away so many pulls/time period for free for playing. I'm not sure how you account for that.

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  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    I'm not surprised this has reached the level where it's an issue. Games have been going towards gamified payment systems for years, and not just with loot boxes.

    How many people on this forum have been excited to spend a dollar or five dollars to get 80 or 400 Microsoft funbucks so they could buy some DLC item, likely cosmetic and not even one that they care about, just so they could zero out their account?

    How many games and game systems utilize their own currency, with some relationship to real dollars, but in a way that incentives larger expenditures? I/E $1 is 100 coins, $100 is 15,000 coins. This tricks the brain into thinking you're getting more value, when in actuality what you're buying is worthless.

    It's no surprise that gaming companies have decided to gamify payment systems. And that's what the real issue is, that the normal transaction of buying an entertainment product has been perverted into being another way in which you are entertained. It's like if the act of buying heroin also got you high.

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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    Oh yeah, those bonus amounts should be looked at. Also intermediary points systems (buy 400 points, everything costs 280), though that's somewhat tangential.

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  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    How much does it cost to purchase one lootbox?

    There's the cash value of one lootbox worth of items.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
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  • ArcTangentArcTangent Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    .
    Heffling wrote: »
    I'm not surprised this has reached the level where it's an issue. Games have been going towards gamified payment systems for years, and not just with loot boxes.

    How many people on this forum have been excited to spend a dollar or five dollars to get 80 or 400 Microsoft funbucks so they could buy some DLC item, likely cosmetic and not even one that they care about, just so they could zero out their account?

    How many games and game systems utilize their own currency, with some relationship to real dollars, but in a way that incentives larger expenditures? I/E $1 is 100 coins, $100 is 15,000 coins. This tricks the brain into thinking you're getting more value, when in actuality what you're buying is worthless.

    It's no surprise that gaming companies have decided to gamify payment systems. And that's what the real issue is, that the normal transaction of buying an entertainment product has been perverted into being another way in which you are entertained. It's like if the act of buying heroin also got you high.

    Nor is it new. It's the de facto standard for TCGs. Hell, for collecting baseball cards since baseball cards were a thing. I think there's two key differences though. First, that unlike buying a pack of cards, lootbox items are hard-tied to the person who got them, which creates scarcity where none should exist. Second, that there's a different mindset going into video games, and especially video games where you pay full price. The expectation is that you can at least unlock everything given a reasonable amount of time and effort, and walling a desired thing behind microcosmic random chance is double extra frustrating.

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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    The value of any item if it can never be transferred is $0.

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  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    Feral wrote: »
    How much does it cost to purchase one lootbox?

    There's the cash value of one lootbox worth of items.

    nah, its gambling.

    so the average cash value of a lootbox should be close to 10% less than the value you put into it, also minus their expenses, so that the business model is sustainable.

    So that means that a 5 dollar loot crate should produce $3.00 worth of stuff on average (30% platform cut, 10% profit cut if the end user decides to cash out), with some boxes producing far less, and others (fewer) producing a massive multiplier more.

    This all means nothing if they cannot cash out though.

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  • milskimilski Their Will comes, at last, to Earth, to the Neath, as a storm crosses the sea. Registered User regular
    Ok, so the theoretical system is e g:

    Free spins directly give you in game items X Y Z. Get a free spin and get Yoda? Congrats, he's yours.

    Paid spins give you chips for items X Y Z that can also be cashed out for a monetary value. The average monetary expected value here must be negative. Using these chips to get the item means you can't cash out. So a 4x common 1x rare lootbox might be worth $3, while an Epic might be worth $4 on its own and a Legendary chip might be $10.

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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    The capsule toy to random cardset evolution is the source of all this, I feel. Games like MtG took the nickel plastic capsule toy idea to an unhealthy degree, taking a random goof thing to become not only collectible but necessary to participate. It creates a natural pay-to-win model that has been the problem with Magic the Gathering since day one. I say this as a player who was heavily invested back in the day. If you wanted to be involved in an MtG community you were investing thousands of dollars a year for random chances or to but a box of random boosters. And this sort of normalized it.

    Despite the fact that you can play the game with just home-printed cards and sleeves, the nature of the community was that if you didn't pay to get those cards you don't deserve to play the game. Which is a psychological need-for-community attack on the target demographic, children and teens who are desperate for social acceptance. While a well documented problem in the 90s and 2000s, it lacked the one thing needed to make it hit a real breaking point. When you buy trading cards, you still have the cards themselves you could resell or trade for other things.

    With loot boxes, not only are you trading for social acceptance, but now you don't even have the option of home-printing your toys. Your transactions are designed to be easy and quick, all digital through credit and debit cards, so you don't have the limitation of having a cashier interaction to measure how much you are spending psychologically. Worse, you have nothing to show for it. You cant trade your awesome D.VA skin you wont ever use for your buddy's Reinhardt skin he will never use. You can't resell your Battlefront Unlocks.

    The whole system has taken what what was already an unhealthy, but arguably functional, economy and made the publisher control both ends.

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  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited November 2017
    syndalis wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    How much does it cost to purchase one lootbox?

    There's the cash value of one lootbox worth of items.

    nah, its gambling.

    so the average cash value of a lootbox should be close to 10% less than the value you put into it, also minus their expenses, so that the business model is sustainable.

    So that means that a 5 dollar loot crate should produce $3.00 worth of stuff on average (30% platform cut, 10% profit cut if the end user decides to cash out), with some boxes producing far less, and others (fewer) producing a massive multiplier more.

    This all means nothing if they cannot cash out though.

    I never said it wasn't gambling.

    My post was in response to milski. There were a few posts in between because I was slow and I was too lazy to quote him:
    milski wrote: »
    The issue with the last two is that the "real world" value of many of these items is arbitrary/nonexistant. How do you value the items from an Overwatch Lootbox? By definition, (over the long term) every lootbox contains one Lootbox-Value of items.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    Personally, if I paid retail price for a game, I should be able to unlock all regular content via play, fuck your loot boxes.

    You want to make DLC after the initial release to expand the game and have us pay for it? Cool, that’s fine too.

    But don’t tell me having to spend cash to roll the dice to hopefully get the new hat I want for my Malibu Stacy isn’t gambling, don’t insult my intelligence.

    In FTP games, post odds on getting items and give us a way to earn content through play (I grit my teeth, but Hearthstone has at least the latter part available, despite crushing cost)

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
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  • SunrizeSunrize Registered User regular
    If you guys don't mind I'd like to include physical toys in this discussion, the elephant in the room being CCGs like Pokemon and Magic, where there is very much a real world price tag/resale value associated with certain "loot." The pay-to-win nature of attaching it to a competitive game makes it a bit worse than similar products, like say baseball cards.

    I've also seen an increase in the number of "surprise toy" products, especially with things like Minecraft, where the toy is hidden:https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=hello+kitty+surprise+egg&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=153659170744&hvpos=1t1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=8030905734791125812&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1027744&hvtargid=kwd-23392922000&ref=pd_sl_14x27bn3ol_e

    Again, someone could argue this is no different than the vending machine style plastic eggs you used to see near the cash register in the drug store, but maybe it's more nefarious that there is mathematical intent behind the distribution of rare toys?

    (Let me know if you don't want to include this, I'll delete the post.)

    EncKetar
  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Matev wrote: »
    Personally, if I paid retail price for a game, I should be able to unlock all regular content via play, fuck your loot boxes.

    You want to make DLC after the initial release to expand the game and have us pay for it? Cool, that’s fine too.

    But don’t tell me having to spend cash to roll the dice to hopefully get the new hat I want for my Malibu Stacy isn’t gambling, don’t insult my intelligence.

    In FTP games, post odds on getting items and give us a way to earn content through play (I grit my teeth, but Hearthstone has at least the latter part available, despite crushing cost)

    A reasonable amount of regular play, to be clear.

    Because Battlefront 2 is what set the current firestorm off to begin with.

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  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    syndalis wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    How much does it cost to purchase one lootbox?

    There's the cash value of one lootbox worth of items.

    nah, its gambling.

    so the average cash value of a lootbox should be close to 10% less than the value you put into it, also minus their expenses, so that the business model is sustainable.

    So that means that a 5 dollar loot crate should produce $3.00 worth of stuff on average (30% platform cut, 10% profit cut if the end user decides to cash out), with some boxes producing far less, and others (fewer) producing a massive multiplier more.

    This all means nothing if they cannot cash out though.

    The counter argument is that it's not gambling, because the product is entertainment, and what you get from the lootbox has no value because it cannot be traded.

    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?
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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Heffling wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    How much does it cost to purchase one lootbox?

    There's the cash value of one lootbox worth of items.

    nah, its gambling.

    so the average cash value of a lootbox should be close to 10% less than the value you put into it, also minus their expenses, so that the business model is sustainable.

    So that means that a 5 dollar loot crate should produce $3.00 worth of stuff on average (30% platform cut, 10% profit cut if the end user decides to cash out), with some boxes producing far less, and others (fewer) producing a massive multiplier more.

    This all means nothing if they cannot cash out though.

    The counter argument is that it's not gambling, because the product is entertainment, and what you get from the lootbox has no value because it cannot be traded.

    Imagine if a casino claimed that wrt to the machines. It's all about the fun of playing!

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    Switch: SW-5185-4991-5118
    PSN: AbEntropy
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  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    Heffling wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    How much does it cost to purchase one lootbox?

    There's the cash value of one lootbox worth of items.

    nah, its gambling.

    so the average cash value of a lootbox should be close to 10% less than the value you put into it, also minus their expenses, so that the business model is sustainable.

    So that means that a 5 dollar loot crate should produce $3.00 worth of stuff on average (30% platform cut, 10% profit cut if the end user decides to cash out), with some boxes producing far less, and others (fewer) producing a massive multiplier more.

    This all means nothing if they cannot cash out though.

    The counter argument is that it's not gambling, because the product is entertainment, and what you get from the lootbox has no value because it cannot be traded.

    hence my bolded statement.

    If they addressed the bolded statement, it would fix a lot of the problems with the lootbox model (but also likely force them to restrict access to adults - also a net good IMO).

    SW-4158-3990-6116
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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    if a thing has no value, than why are you selling it for 'X'

    I feel like that argument would not hold up well in court

    destroyah87
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    How much does it cost to purchase one lootbox?

    There's the cash value of one lootbox worth of items.

    nah, its gambling.

    so the average cash value of a lootbox should be close to 10% less than the value you put into it, also minus their expenses, so that the business model is sustainable.

    So that means that a 5 dollar loot crate should produce $3.00 worth of stuff on average (30% platform cut, 10% profit cut if the end user decides to cash out), with some boxes producing far less, and others (fewer) producing a massive multiplier more.

    This all means nothing if they cannot cash out though.

    The counter argument is that it's not gambling, because the product is entertainment, and what you get from the lootbox has no value because it cannot be traded.

    Imagine if a casino claimed that wrt to the machines. It's all about the fun of playing!

    Imagine if a government agency claimed that with regards to some kind of state-sponsored gambli---oooohhhhhhhhhhhshi

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Sunrize wrote: »
    If you guys don't mind I'd like to include physical toys in this discussion, the elephant in the room being CCGs like Pokemon and Magic, where there is very much a real world price tag/resale value associated with certain "loot." The pay-to-win nature of attaching it to a competitive game makes it a bit worse than similar products, like say baseball cards.

    I've also seen an increase in the number of "surprise toy" products, especially with things like Minecraft, where the toy is hidden:https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=hello+kitty+surprise+egg&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=153659170744&hvpos=1t1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=8030905734791125812&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1027744&hvtargid=kwd-23392922000&ref=pd_sl_14x27bn3ol_e

    Again, someone could argue this is no different than the vending machine style plastic eggs you used to see near the cash register in the drug store, but maybe it's more nefarious that there is mathematical intent behind the distribution of rare toys?

    (Let me know if you don't want to include this, I'll delete the post.)

    I'm with you 100%, with the exception being that you have a physical product at the end you can sell or keep or do whatever you want with as the end user. That doesn't mean it isn't predatory, it is, but it isn't quite the same as lootboxes in that you don't get anything at the end of the day.

    DelmainElvenshaeGnome-InterruptusMegaMek
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