8 August 2019 – Today, a number of major international video game companies announced new initiatives to help consumers make informed choices about their purchases. The initiatives were announced at a workshop hosted by the US Federal Trade Commission in Washington on loot boxes, attended by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), IGEA’s counterpart in the US. Many of the member companies of the ESA and IGEA, including console makers and publishers, will implement new policies to inform consumers aboutthe relative rarity or probability of obtaining randomised virtual items for their video games (e.g. loot boxes).
The major console makers will require paid loot boxes for games developed for their platforms to disclose information on the relative rarity or probability of obtaining randomised virtual items and are targeting 2020 for implementation. Additionally, major publishers have agreed to disclose the relative rarity or probability of obtaining in-game virtual items from purchased loot boxes no later than the end of 2020. Several publisher members of our respective organisations already provide, or are considering providing, such disclosure rates. These disclosures will apply to all new games and updates to games that add loot box features. For more information, see this post from the ESA.
IGEA CEO Ron Curry said: “IGEA welcomes the initiatives which ensure global and industry-wide commitment to provide further transparency and information to our players by providing relative rarity or probability of obtaining randomised virtual items, commonly known as ‘drop rates’. Our members taketheir responsibility to players and consumers, including minors, very seriously and encourages ongoing discussion and feedback from all areas of the community on such issues.
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