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American senator proposes bill against loot boxes in games

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, May 14, 2019.

  1. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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  2. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    Somebody's waiting for his lobbying check. :rolleyes:
    When do people realise that maybe it's the parents that's supposed to protect their kids form stuff like that...
     
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  3. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    Would be nice. It is one thing I really dislike. And it is out of control. Hey Bethesda... Blades... not even released...
    $25 for chest with just one legendary piece of gear.
    $125 Special currency enabling you to buy 5 of chests above and little bonus in In-Game-Currency.

    And to write this, I started game which took 6 attempts as it would not even log in due to server issues. That's the state of a PC based company and their gold rush on android.

    If I were to write about companies who based their income primarily from android, I saw cases where you could buy $1000 packages and getting "upgrades" to final stage of buildings will cost you like $3000, or you'll wait for 2 years. And there are games where you spend $15000 and still not have everything there is to have for single character. (And all those mentioned things are unethical pay-to-win things.)

    If this kind of $h*7 goes away in US, maybe someone gets enough guts to do same in here.

    @fantaskarsef : My problem is not about kids spending. That's as you wrote responsibility of their parents. What I do not like is pay-to-win as that always results in much worse game that it could have been.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  4. War child

    War child Master Guru

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    I'm waiting for a senator to step in and stop RSI from selling more and more vehicles in Star Citizen. Maybe then they will focus on actual game play, not in game fluff.
    Their vehicle catalog is big enough.

    But limiting loot boxes to under 18 prohibition isn't good enough. Younger generation are far smarter than before, and will easily bypass any age restrictions.
    Parents can do what they can, but put simply, in todays tech, children are often smarter and more tech savvy
     

  5. Phill-7

    Phill-7 Active Member

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    I like the man. It's a step in the right direction.
     
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  6. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    Well there's examples of lootboxes that do not contain pay to win, like Overwatch, where it's only cosmetics. Why should those be an issue then? Nobody needs extra skins to win the game. No issue here besides people's own impulse control.
    I do agree that any pay to win is cancer, as well as pay to not grind since it's a direct indication that people are guided towards spending money. Like it was with Shadow of War for instance.


    What age verification? That's always been a joke on the internet. "Are you 18?" Who wouldn't click yes to see what's inside...
    The younger have allways been more tech savvy than the older generations, same with my parents and myself too. Your's probably as well... still we're not buying lootboxes by the bulk every day because we gamble like hell.



    I can honestly say, I don't support pay to win practices. Some games though inheritly have a system that works like this, like buy more Hearthstone packs for a higher chance to draw your legendary card, but with those everybody playing should have their own minds set and should be aware of the risks of such a drop system.

    What really upsets me is that still there's other stuff IRL that's just as easy to get but nobody argues. Does that senator work against collectible card games printed on paper? Baseball, basketball, football collectibles? No. Same issues though.
    Or like here in Europe where football / soccer's a big thing, and with every other year an event like world championships or European championships makes kids buy packs of stickers for their collections with just the same drop model as lootboxes in games. Still nothing against that.
    Make your parents buy more sweets or serial packs to get to win the very special gift in there? Where's the voice against such "gambling aimed at kids" there?
    That's hypocracy...
     
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  7. cryohellinc

    cryohellinc Ancient Guru

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    Definitely a step in the right direction. Looking forward to seeing more on this development.
     
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  8. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    Not knowing what you going to get is the issue imo.

    Loot boxes are gambling and industry is being built around it. Sad thing is, I don't think majority wants to revert to pay for what you want style anymore.
    Most gamers just loves spending money and having moment of hope it will get something really rare.
    Having a price tag on an item, buy it, use it... just lacks fun and amusement at this point. We don't pay for the item anymore, we just like throwing moneys away.

    At this point, it's just like shopping, cigarettes, alcohol or whatever people do to distract themselves.

    American senator just trying to get traction and visibility. The issue is people.
    Please, introduce me to a senator that wants to propose a bill against alcohol.
     
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  9. lucidus

    lucidus Ancient Guru

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    Not a fan of governments interfering but predatory practices need to be shut down.
     
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  10. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    @fantaskarsef : Well, Even cosmetic random lootboxing is not something I like. it is one thing I dislike on Path of Exile. But at least they have magnitude more of cosmetic microtransactions where you get exactly what you pay for without gambling.

    I have one very grey zone. That's purchasing of additional characters/classes in game. Like MoBa where you get few free heroes and then you can either grind for new one or pay. As this is horizontal progression and therefore not directly p2w. At least not if done properly.

    Btw. Albion Online which was released as pay to play + premium subscriptions (p2w character progression) is now f2p + something (I did not check details, yet).
    => I am mentioning it for those who skipped it for reason that game should either have one time payment or subscription payments, but never both. (Especially in such unforgiving game.)
     
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  11. nevcairiel

    nevcairiel Master Guru

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    This doesn't really combat pay-to-win though. They'll just move from random loot boxes, which are being identified as gambling and therefor bad, with predictable micro-transactions. Short term power boosts, XP boosts, and all that stuff. Just buy gear directly for high prices instead of random boxes, etc.
     
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  12. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    Doesn't it sound boring? Is it what users really want?
     
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  13. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    Pay to win always is a PITA. And like you said, unlocking characters and classes indeed can be pay to win, depending on balance. If it's balanced, it's cool, if it's not it's pay to win. So what's balanced and what's not? Usually it's pretty clear, but the line's thin.


    Indeed you are right, banning lootboxes does nothing against pay to win. But Mr. Senator isn't against pay to win, just against loot boxes. So p2w is actually not this thread's OP's topic.
    I can live with no lootboxes and just buying what you like, since microtransactions won't go anywhere, it's more profitable for companies to make a game containing them than not.
    I just don't see how every lootbox system has to be purged (cosmetics, why should they?), since proper checks of age would in theory be enough.

    Since that's not possible, we forbid stuff for everybody. Same logic behind "since some people can't control themselves, nobody's allowed to go to casinos". Or "since there's no age verification at the entrance all the kids can go to casinos. Let's forbid casinos."
     
  14. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    Then those direct boosts will cost much more than random. As equipping 10 different character gear slots on random requires magnitude more purchases than just buying those directly.

    Someone may be inclined to pay $10 for box with random selection of slot and grade. But are you going to pay $100 for sword, knowing that full gear will cost you $1000?
    Moment people see it, they would think twice about playing such game. And this behavior is going to die as result.
    = = = =
    All of those games start small. $1 boost for few days and nice startup boost making content easy. Then 7-day boost for $10 and some better gear. And so on. But once they have no random stuff. People are bound to see what it takes to get there.

    I remember Lords Mobile. Getting one hero to maximum level required spending of $700~1300 depending on hero. And no way to get there w/o spending.
    Seeing that discourages anyone sane from playing game as you know that there is always going to be quite a few players who have full 5 hero roaster in battle which are fully leveled.
     
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  15. Venix

    Venix Master Guru

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    For decades the target of developing a game was to be fun, now on a lot of cases is just psychology to make you buy micro transactions and lootboxes , really if they are ever get banned once and for all it will be amazing!
     

  16. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    That's a general problem. For decades producing long lasting, high quality goods was the thing. These days it's commercials are all about how you feel buying a good, rather than how good such a purchased thing really is. See mbk's post and watch the third video (while I was already aware of such concepts and didn't watch that video, I'm fairly sure it gives an idea of what I mean).
     
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  17. TheDeeGee

    TheDeeGee Ancient Guru

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    I'm fine with banning lootboxes, but i fear developers will find other ways to milk money.

    Imagine ending up having to pay a monthly sub for each developer...
     
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  18. nevcairiel

    nevcairiel Master Guru

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    Because politicians don't live to be sensible, they just want to jump on the latest drama topic and score votes. Democracy is flawed because being a populist is always going to score more votes, and the general population doesn't think things through, just likes seeing "something" done, even if something turns out to be ultimately bad, or overreaching.
     
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  19. nevcairiel

    nevcairiel Master Guru

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    Its not like there are plenty games where this is already the case. Micro-transactions make plenty money without random chance (especially mobile ones). Just abstract the concept a bit, sell "gems" or "coins" or whatever, and have those be tradeable for everything. As a bonus, make small amounts of gems be earnable in-game through special events - just enough to get them going. Once you don't buy items directly, but through a "premium currency", the direct price attachment goes away for many. Its just psychology.
     
  20. Picolete

    Picolete Master Guru

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    The government should stay away from everything.
     

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