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Default US lawmaker petitions against Loot Boxes

December 6th, 2017, 16:56
http://www.pcgamer.com/us-lawmaker-w…-loot-box-law/

The video lays out the basics of what Lee has in mind, which includes prohibiting the sale of videogames containing "gambling mechanisms" to anyone under the age of 21. That restriction would cover any situation in which players are purchasing a "percentage chance" to get an in-game item, rather than the item itself, and would apply not just to games sold at retail but also those available via digital distribution channels like Steam and GOG—a relevant point because ESRB ratings are not mandatory for digital storefronts.
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December 6th, 2017, 18:25
EA just had to push it TOO far with SW Battlefront … and now they risk losing huge amounts of revenue.
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December 6th, 2017, 18:28
I hope Ripper pops in, he has a lot of input to legal matters. I agree though. I haven't personally come across loot boxes yet.
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December 6th, 2017, 18:33
I like this take from Shamus Young … and agree with him that many in the US lack an appreciation of just how huge FIFA is globally.

http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=41164
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December 6th, 2017, 19:16
At this stage, it doesn't really seem to be a matter of legal shenanigans - it's more about the political debate around framing new law to deal with a new situation. I imagine it will thrashed out by various politicians - some driven by genuine ethical and practical concerns, and some slightly more motivated by industry lobbyists. Whether we get some sensible law at the end of it is anyone's guess.

What is encouraging, is that lootboxes are clearly becoming toxic from a PR perspective, as can be seen in Disney's displeasure. That may end up being more powerful than any legal solution.
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December 6th, 2017, 19:57
I brought something like this up 5 years ago to the founder of Klicknation, aka EA Mobile, aka Bioware Sacramento. Poker Stars (or one of the other big online gambling sites) just had their assets frozen at the time for dealing in bad faith after the feds told them to stop (my personal friend had $10k suddenly locked up on him ).

Klicknation was taking credit card payments for a 1 in 10,000 chance to in an big in game item. The founder was mooning about how one guy paid $200k for it.

So I pointed out the Poker Stars incident and he claimed it wasn't gambling because no real items were being awarded and the laws weren't clear. He quickly took another question before I could respond.

I would have responded that's the same logic Poker Stars used (Chris Ferguson was involved and he was in legal trouble too).

Checking out the law myself, it seems the government doesn't regulate gambling directly, it specifically regulates "games of chance" which appears to me to be a broader category gambling falls into - and any other kind of category Poker Stars or Klicknation wants to use to claim their way out of.

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One way I can see some of these sites finding a loophole in this process is by guaranteeing a minimum item that is itemized for purchase directly - they could even discount it as a loot box item. Any new law would have to prevent that sort of thing.
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December 6th, 2017, 20:22
Already mentioned that attempt hiding behind kids'welfare. It is all about the kids.
Cant even come into the light.


Going to be a feast of double standard. So many products fit the bill. Players have been buying gambling mechanics for decades. Randomized loot is a common feature with underlying processes like farming.
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December 6th, 2017, 20:23
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
EA just had to push it TOO far with SW Battlefront … and now they risk losing huge amounts of revenue.
Had to be an anti EA law then as so many products are involved.

In the meantime, the crowdfunded scene keeps going.
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December 6th, 2017, 20:25
Its the direct connection to the bank account that people get most annoyed with.
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How about all games have a single huge lootbox you pay for up front that contains all the options, items, skins, unlocks etc? I'd pay for that!!
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December 6th, 2017, 20:26
You should drop the crowdfunded grudge. Its beginning to sound petty and nonsensical.

All games are crowd funded. Some just more evident than others.
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How about all games have a single huge lootbox you pay for up front that contains all the options, items, skins, unlocks etc? I'd pay for that!!
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December 7th, 2017, 13:51
There is no cause for a grudge against crowdfunding.

It exhibits people double standard.

Incriminated products:

-gambling for items is optional
-other ways to acquire items exist

Crowdfunded scene:

-gambling is mandatory. People do not gamble, no products being developped
-there is no other ways to acquire the product: gambling must happen.


Crowdfunding is a gambling venture by itself. And people go after companies they hold a grudge against. They have no interest in going after gambling or they will go against crowdfunding.
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December 7th, 2017, 18:06
Don't confuse things that have an element of risk with gambling.

By that logic casinos are on the same platform as farming, investing, having sex, childbirth, operations, flying, driving, eating….

There is a difference between paid ingame lootbox traps and crowdfunding startups.
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How about all games have a single huge lootbox you pay for up front that contains all the options, items, skins, unlocks etc? I'd pay for that!!
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December 7th, 2017, 19:45
There are differences on the way they manage the gambling side. Differences are listed in a previous post.
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December 8th, 2017, 00:32
Don't our lawmakers have more important things to act on? Really? C'mon.
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December 8th, 2017, 03:14
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Don't our lawmakers have more important things to act on? Really? C'mon.
Yeah, Net Neutrality - but I would rather not have them act on that for at least another year and a half.
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December 8th, 2017, 03:51
Not at all on that one…
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December 8th, 2017, 15:12
Call me a cynic but I think not much will come of this so I think we are still better off buying EA stock while its down! EA and others will get away with this….
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December 8th, 2017, 15:16
I'm a little bit more optimistic that lootboxes could be in trouble, but I definitely agree about the EA stock.
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December 9th, 2017, 14:15
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Don't our lawmakers have more important things to act on? Really? C'mon.
They do as their master demands and their master was angered by loot boxes.
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