enaysoft

Belgium says loot boxes are gambling, wants them banned in Europe

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Fantastic news, be great if they can finally be gone 

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16 minutes ago, ddracarys said:

Yaaas Belguim slaayyyyyyy. Shout out to my Belgian waffle @BlueBerry_1337 #bleguimslay

 

Lmao, at least some countries got brains. Tbh I hope it gets banned... I don't mind loot boxes but not when you gotta pay real money for it

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Oh Wow! Belgium AND Hawaii, I mean wow. Hawaii is basically the US, yes I know it is the US. However Hawaii coming out and saying the words "this is gambling" and a man saying he needs to protect his daughter from these horrible practices. This is quite literally the most disasterous thing for Disney and EA.

 

First ever I'm happy games and Politics got mixed together. I hope EA burns, they deserve it.

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I'm glad it's finally called for what it is. Better late than never. Hope they ban the supply drops from Call of Duty as well. At least in the previous games it was gambling, the new one made it slightly better.

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This is obviously good news that they’re planning on cracking down on this issue. Though I don’t agree that the concept of lootboxes should be banned, as properly implemented loot system are very fun like in borderlands for example, where everything you receive through playing is completely random. That said, introducing micro-transactions to the equation is a terrible and aggressively greedy idea. Of course what amplified the problem in this particular case was the atrocious progression system in place in SWBF2. I mean who tf decided it was a good idea to randomize the star cards in general loot crates?! I think the new star card system is a potentially good idea, but poorly executed. It would make way more sense to just cut he ridiculous loot crates out of the equation and let people outright purchase the specific cards they want, but ONLY using in-game credits with no micro-transactions (because no ptw bs!!). Because that’s how progression should always work. And if they do keep the out of place lootboxes, they need to at least separate the classes so you can progress your class of choice and up the return on doubles...

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Hmmm.

 

seems a little hubristic to celebrate this...

 

Banning lootboxes is not necessarily a good thing - by charging money for loot boxes the publishers and developers were able to make a lot of money from stupid/rich people without increasing the price for normal players.

 

I never bought any, as I am neither rich nor stupid, and so they never affected me. If they disappear that makes no difference to me, but I am sure it will lead either to a general increase in game prices, or some new profit maximisation avenues to cover the revenue reduction.

 

Those could be worse in the long run.

 

I liked the fact that my (admittedly dwindling) ‘AAA’ game playing was being subsidised by a tax on dumb people. I’d be sad if suddenly normal people were losing out instead!

Edited by DrBloodmoney
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Banned and Regulated are very different things. The latter is something we should be worried about, if Government learns it can regulate this aspect of the industry what other aspects can they affect. We all know the hard on they've had for video game violence, for example, and their proclivity to blame it for societal ills. This is just me spitballing, I'm no fan of micro-transactions, but you may get your utopia and hate it more than the status quo. 

 

In other news get ready to start paying more for games at retail, these developments will be used as the pretext.

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3 minutes ago, DrBloodmoney said:

Hmmm.

 

seems a little hubristic to celebrate this...

 

Banning lootboxes is not necessarily a good thing - by charging money for loot boxes the publishers and developers were able to make a lot of money from stupid/rich people without increasing the price for normal players.

 

I never bought any, as I am neither rich nor stupid, and so they never affected me. If they disappear that makes no difference to me, but I am sure it will lead either to a general increase in game prices, or some new profit maximisation avenues to cover the revenue reduction.

 

Those could be worse in the long run.

 

I liked the fact that my (admittedly dwindling) ‘AAA’ game playing was being subsidised by a tax on dumb people. I’d be sad if suddenly normal people were losing out instead!

Then, since you are neither rich nor stupid, you won't buy the overpriced games or you are going to buy less games. And their sales will drop

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We have to wait and see what the consequences of this are. IMO, loot boxes don’t need to be banned outright, but the game should tell you what the odds are when you buy loot boxes. Good labelling empowers the consumer to make educated buying choices. If I go into a loot box buy decision knowing that the odds of getting, say, a legendary item are 5%, then I can weigh that against how much I want a legendary item. 

 

Still, if it makes the more predatory companies sit up and take note that these systems are not as fair as, say, simply charging a fair price for the skin and letting the customer buy the ones they actually want without having to gamble, then that’s a good thing. 

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I'm sure we can all agree that lootboxes which are 98% of the time filled with crap and randomness in order to progress is not a good idea in any game ever, even if microtransactions weren't involved. I'm against the complete banning of loot boxes either but let's face it, they aren't in there for gameplay reasons, they are in their to bleed people of their cash and to get money from people who are gamblers.

 

Inventing a gameplay problem by design by design and then fixing it by the same developer by loot boxes. It's dishonesty from the developer plain and simple.

 

These corporations make money without transactions, it's just that they make MORE money with them. They don't just want profit, they want all of it, all of the money, at the expense of you and me and at the expense of the gameplay. Regulating or banning lootboxes is maybe the first step to getting our games back, as complete packages without outside forces tinkering with the game mechanics.

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Well, not like it'd change anything in the US. Also, they'd find some other way to nickle and dime gamers to death.

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This seems like a real longshot to me. Are other, similar products like CCG packs banned in Europe? It seems unlikely.

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This should've been declared as gambling ever since it's inception with Mass Effect 3. By now it spread like the plague through pretty much all the sports franchises (yes, packs are the exact same thing), as well as every other major release. It should therefore always have been regulated as such.

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4 minutes ago, cckerberos said:

This seems like a real longshot to me. Are other, similar products like CCG packs banned in Europe? It seems unlikely.

The difference is CCGs give you the odds for all the types of cards they contain, which lootboxes don't do, and you can trade/sell any unwanted cards to fund more packs until you eventually get what you want. Is it gambling? Kinda, but at the end you're walking away with something you can use to get what you actually want. If you buy a lootbox hoping for a rainbow hat and instead you get a bunch of red hats, well, you're kinda fucked. You can't do anything with those red hats.

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33 minutes ago, DrBloodmoney said:

Hmmm.

 

seems a little hubristic to celebrate this...

 

Banning lootboxes is not necessarily a good thing - by charging money for loot boxes the publishers and developers were able to make a lot of money from stupid/rich people without increasing the price for normal players.

 

I never bought any, as I am neither rich nor stupid, and so they never affected me. If they disappear that makes no difference to me, but I am sure it will lead either to a general increase in game prices, or some new profit maximisation avenues to cover the revenue reduction.

 

Those could be worse in the long run.

 

I liked the fact that my (admittedly dwindling) ‘AAA’ game playing was being subsidised by a tax on dumb people. I’d be sad if suddenly normal people were losing out instead!

https://www.google.de/amp/s/www.game-debate.com/amp/news/24079/newsAmpPage.html

 

This article ties into what you said and I agree. In the long run it could end up hurting the average gamer. While I absolutely think the implementation of loot boxes paired with the micro-transactions in SWBF2 was completely ill-advised. I am worried about any legislation that may result from this PR disaster though. Knowing Congress (in the US at least), they’ll pass some ridiculously restrictive laws with gross oversight that ends up banning all forms of looting and micro-transactions in and shape or form. Because seriously, it’s politics at this point and there is no winning here. Yes EA is consumed with corporate greed and blablabla but at the same time it’s not going to stop them from getting there money in some other form. So really we made just end up back at the $50 season pass per game that other devs are still sporting. And honestly I’m fine with that. Read the article. Game prices are cheaper now than they were 20 years ago with higher production value and this cost. So either way they will get they’re money to remain profitable because it is a business and when all is said and done people want them to stay in business, even if that means paying more. I feel like this particular  microtransaction story has been blown way out of proportion and this point and I can almost guarantee, if Congress gets there thick’s heads involved in this mess, we will all be sorry we ever complained. Think of all the things they’ve regulated through laws to “protect the youth”. Censorship is everywhere in American media, trying watching an unedited movie on free tv or seeing someone flip off the camera at the (still relevant??) mtv awards. Or turn on the radio and listen to a rap song... or what’s left of it lol. Games are still a medium that has so much freedom in its current state, solely restricted by a letter in the bottom corner on the cover. I’d hate to see it ruined when lawmakers decide to take a closer look at our beloved paradise.

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I just want all micro-transaction systems, all packs/crates/boxes and all that crap to be removed from the gaming community completely. I hate them, especially how they've been made necessary on purpose in many games.

 

No more having to pay for in-game content outside of actual expansion packs that required development and production time post launch. The only time we should have the choice to part with real life money after buying the main game is if a significant piece of content has been released that requires actual people and development cycles to produce said content.

 

Keep all of the cosmetic skins, weapons and unlockables, but make them earnable through time, skill and effort through actual gameplay.

 

Remove:

  • Microtransactions in general
  • Loot boxes / crates / packs
  • Cosmetic items / timesaver packs / skins etc

Keep:

  • Expansion level content that requires development and production after the main game is released
  • Cosmetic items and skins but make them 100% earnable in game and through community event participation

 

I know the above is not completely possible, because the one other thing that i'm not factoring in is F2P games that rely on Microtransactions. But I definitely think a compromise can be found between the two.

 

17 minutes ago, StrickenBiged said:

 

I don't really think this is a valid point, though I usually do see it raised in defence of MTX or loot boxes or whatever. 

 

The publishers are the ones setting the budgets, marketing budget, etc. They could just as easily choose to spend less on a better game. 

 

CDProjekt reportedly spent just $81million on The Witcher 3 and it sold like gangbusters to near universal critical and consumer acclaim, at a full retail price, and made them a lot of money in profits without having to go down the "games as a service" route. It can be done. 

 

EA chooses to spend double that on developing and marketing its bad games, riddled with extra ways of nickel and dimeing its players. It's time they got a bloody nose for it, not mindless defenders parroting their PR doublespeak. (Not saying that you are a mindless defender - I used to parrot the same line myself before I thought about it a bit more - but I do see this defence made a lot.)

 

Completely agree on all fronts here. I think the Battlefront 2 EA stuff was the straw that broke the camels back. I also wonder if people would have had an issue with the mictrotransactions and related systems if EA had released the game as F2P. From what i've read one of the biggest issues that kicked off this media shitstorm was also that they were charging full price for a game and also bringing a heavy microtransactional system into it too.

 

I'd love to see data around how people receive F2P games with a microtransaction model versus Full price games with microtransactions.

Edited by Crispy_Oglop
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Yeah, this is great. I feel sorry for all the people in this forum who supported that junk with ridiculous reasons.

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7 minutes ago, Crispy_Oglop said:

I'd love to see data around how people receive F2P games with a microtransaction model versus Full price games with microtransactions.

 

I think we're seeing that data now! xD 

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8 minutes ago, StrickenBiged said:

 

I don't really think this is a valid point, though I usually do see it raised in defence of MTX or loot boxes or whatever. 

 

The publishers are the ones setting the budgets, marketing budget, etc. They could just as easily choose to spend less on a better game. 

 

CDProjekt reportedly spent just $81million on The Witcher 3 and it sold like gangbusters to near universal critical and consumer acclaim, at a full retail price, and made them a lot of money in profits without having to go down the "games as a service" route. It can be done. 

 

EA chooses to spend double that on developing and marketing its bad games, riddled with extra ways of nickel and dimeing its players. It's time they got a bloody nose for it, not mindless defenders parroting their PR doublespeak. (Not saying that you are a mindless defender - I used to parrot the same line myself before I thought about it a bit more - but I do see this defence made a lot.)

Well now you just proved my point because yes, the witcher 3 is an amazing game with excellent production value, in fact among my favorite of all time. BUT the expansion pass cost additional money and they rereleased the complete edition to make money off the same product again... so while EA’s marketing is way more extravagant than CDPR’s, the latter is not exempt from capitalizing on gamer’s insatiable love for additional content. They too follow the season pass model. And the prices being lower than they were is definitely a valid point for publishers and developers alike. Because if you can’t ask for more money at POS and people hate on season passes and then the gov looks into banning/regulating micro-transactions... they're getting backed into a corner. It’s the same with itunes and Netflix etc nowadays, they’re all device models where people pay to listen/watch as much as they want but god forbid they raise prices by $1-2 a month, people lose their freaking minds. If we don’t want the prices for the base games to rise, we need to allow for different kinds of monetization models, whether it be season passes or micro-transactions or even subscriptions, like PlayStation plus - duh, it’s a huge chunk of the money Sony makes in the gaming market and they just raised prices last year!

So are micro- transactions in this specific game poorly implemented and wrecklessly tied to a broken profession system. Yes, yes they absolutely are. But I don’t think banning or regulating either through the government is a good idea because it generally illicit sweeping declarations that overshoot the goal. I think it was good that people voiced their concern through reddit and similar outlets and it’s a show of goodwill that EA listened so far and agreed to make adjustments. But honestly the game has only been out a week and it feels like half a year with what’s been going on. Give EA Aand DICE a chance to breathe and fix the problem before getting gov entities involved. 

 

Bottom line- EA hit the PR nightmare jackpot that was only made possible by a license as hot and coveted as Star Wars and now everyone is mainstream media and politicians are perking up as if it’s the first game to ever use this system. Next thing you know, it’ll be part of some senator’s ad campaign. It’s getting out of control. 

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Here's the sad fact. Companies like EA earn many times as much from games with microtransactions. Might as well give it away for free then, right? Also, how can they actually do this? Do most people spend more than the asking price of the game on microtransactions? I got no idea, and I have no idea how it's distributed. I can totally imagine half of the players don't pay for microtransactions, so how come they earn so much from these games? :| 

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19 minutes ago, MMDE said:

Here's the sad fact. Companies like EA earn many times as much from games with microtransactions. Might as well give it away for free then, right? Also, how can they actually do this? Do most people spend more than the asking price of the game on microtransactions? I got no idea, and I have no idea how it's distributed. I can totally imagine half of the players don't pay for microtransactions, so how come they earn so much from these games? :| 

I keep seeing these accusations stated as “facts” with no source. Where are the actual number and figures supporting these arguments that they’re making “many times as much from games with micro-transactions”?

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