The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has just announced that it is changing the way the loot boxes are declared. According to the recent development, video game publishers and console manufacturers are now bounded to disclose drop rates by the end of next year.
Although ESA is yet to disclose the names of those publishers who are volunteering to comply with the disclosure agreement. The reports suggest that leading ESA members including Bethesda, Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, Wizards of the Coast, EA, Bandai Namco, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros and Bungie have already committed. However, ESA stated that others may also follow the footsteps very soon.
It is worth noting that some game developers are already following the practice of disclosing their loot boxes. The Entertainment Software Association announced in a recent blog post:
Last year, in response to growing concerns about in-game spending, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) expanded its ratings disclosures to include an “In-Game Purchases” label on packaging for video games that offer the ability to purchase additional in-game content.
The blog post further explains:
In addition to checking ratings, parents can also utilize password-protected controls available across video game consoles, computers, tablets, and mobile phones to limit or prevent children from making purchases within games, as well as managing screen time, age-appropriate game content, and other features.
At the time of writing this article, there is no official confirmation from Sony and Nintendo in this regard. However, Microsoft confirmed the news and stated that the company believes in transparency. According to the Big M, the decision is a part of its efforts to help gamers with their purchase decisions. It means that Microsoft plans to disclose the loot boxes offered in the new games and apps available on its platforms by 2020. The tech giant wants to ensure that its customers will be provided with all the important information regarding paid loot boxes before they make a purchase decision.
By the look of things, the change in the policy is a result of increasing concerns. Regulatory authorities and lawmakers are now more concerned about loot boxes that are sold to young players as compared to the past. FTC may also introduce new regulations specifically for children. Its a matter of time to see how many more publishers agree to voluntary change their policies.