ESRB Says It Doesn't See 'Loot Boxes' As Gambling

13 October, 2017, 00:29 | Author: Sammy Rose
  • ESRB doesn't consider loot crates as gambling

It's a question some are asking as fan resentment over the way loot boxes are being added to games like Forza Motorsport 7, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, and Star Wars Battlefront II boils over.

Contrary to popular opinion, lootboxes apparently aren't exactly gambling, and the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) won't designate them as such. We think of it as a similar principle to collectible card games: Sometimes you'll open a pack and get a brand new holographic card you've had your eye on for a while. It was implied that the "ESRB does not consider loot boxes to be gambling". But nope, not going to happen as the ESRB doesn't see it as a form of gambling at all. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally. Mobile games often use this model: they provide a free basic game but in order to have a better experience and unlock more items, the player must pay for boxes of items - a model known as "freemium" play.

Games which are rated for teens and younger children often include an option to pay real money for the chance to win in-game items, and this very modern form of monetizing additional content is falling through a regulation gap in the United States and Europe. "If there is any real gambling in a game or app it will always receive an Adults Only rating". In contrast, loot boxes always give something to customers despite their random nature.

The outcome of opening a loot box is certainly uncertain, but ESRB doesn't consider it to be "real gambling".

The gaming community has grown concerned with the increasing number of games that include microtransactions as mechanics to obtain new or unique items. According to the ESRB's criteria, "Real Gambling" is any sort of wagering involving real cash, while "Simulated Gambling" means that the "player can gamble without betting or wagering real cash or currency".

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Well, it seems the video game industry can breathe easy for now.

For them, the concept of gambling implies the literal game of chance in which people might or might not get something in return for their money.

ESRB does have a label for in-game purchases, but with optional downloadable content on almost every game that's hitting the market these days, that covers nearly every modern game.

KitGuru Says: So many issues surround the idea of loot boxes, which makes me wonder why anyone would support them in the first place.

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