According to a statement released by the ESA this morning, the Big Three will soon be requiring games disclose loot box rarities to consumers.
Well folks, I truly didn’t expect this when I woke up this morning. In a completely unprecedented move, this morning the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced that Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, the Big Three which are all a part of the ESA itself, will be implementing policies that will require developers and publishers to disclose loot box odds for games released on their systems.
According to the ESA, this new policy would only apply to new games and new updates to old games that add loot box mechanics. That, unfortunately, means, for example, that Activision won’t have to disclose Reserve Crate drop rates for Black Ops 4. Depending on when the policies will go into effect, however, they may have to disclose them for Modern Warfare and future titles.
The statement also goes into a bit of detail defining what exactly will be affected by this new policy. According to them, any “relative rarity or probabilities of obtaining randomized virtual items in games that are available on their platform” would have to be disclosed.” That language makes it seem like, even if it doesn’t look like a traditional loot box, so long as it has random items, the rarities will have to be disclosed, which seemingly leaves little room for loopholes.
On top of that, the ESA also said that it’ll be looking into ways to “provide consumers with this information” and to “give them enhanced information to make purchase decisions.”
While this isn’t the huge leap forward that some were hoping for, this is a good first step when it comes to self-regulation and keeping the government out of areas where they don’t need to be involved.