Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony will all now require any games on their platforms to disclose odds for loot boxes and similar mechanics in video games.
The ESA chief counsel of tech policy Michael Warnecke revealed the news at a loot box workshop organised by the United States Federal Trade Commission. The public event was held to examine consumer protection issues related to loot boxes in video games
A list of all games companies that have signed up to the loot box disclosure agreement was made public by the ESA.
Alongside the three console manufacturers, Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Wizards of the Coast all featured.
These companies have agreed to disclose details concerning loot box odds for all new game releases by the end of 2020.
“New platform policies”
“I’m pleased to announce this morning that Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have indicated to ESA a commitment to new platform policies with respect to the use of paid loot boxes in games that are developed for their platforms,” said Warnecke.
“Specifically, this would apply to new games and game updates that add loot box features, and it would require the disclosure of the relative rarity or probabilities of obtaining randomized virtual items in games that are available on their platforms.”
In 2017, Apple changed its guidelines to require all iOS games to disclose the odds of receiving items. Google Play followed similarly earlier this year.