ESRB Weighs in on Loot Boxes Drawing the Line in the Sand

The ESRB, weighs in on the current debate gamers and publishers are having about drawing the line in the sand when it comes to the controversial loot boxes. Whether spending money on a randomly generated numbers, in hope to get cosmetic items or even things that can affect gameplay and player progression, is it gambling? Where do we as gamers draw the line?

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Servbot41220d ago

Not surprised since their bills are paid by the major publishers. Lootboxes are digital gambling, plain and simple. If casinos offered a .05 cent sticker for every losing pull of a slot machine or roll of the dice, would that not be gambling anymore?

RommyReigns220d ago

It's just like those claw machines, they get set to clamp tighter at a certain limit of gambles dependent on the law for some states in the USA, where if the machine exceeds that limit without 'paying out' then it would be deemed an illegal machine and the police can get involved (not too sure about the regulation in the UK though).

yomfweeee220d ago

No, it isn't gambling and their argument makes perfect sense.

You're buying something that has no real value. Whether you get a standard item or not epic item... there's no difference in the real world.

Like they said it is like buying cards. Gaming cards or even sports cards when they were a big thing. I remember buying packs and packs of basketball cards as a kid trying to get certain cards. No one called that gambling. It is the same thing you're doing in the game.

Tankbusta40220d ago

Except baseball and football cards have a real value. So you made your point then backed it up with a poor example.

Rachel_Alucard220d ago (Edited 220d ago )


If you WERE purchasing packs for the express purpose of reselling the cards, you are still not gambling. You are purchasing something and reselling it. Sometimes you will make money on a pack, sometimes you won’t. Games of chance are not gambling. Games of chance where you pay in money and are rewarded with money on the odds that you win is gambling.

BenjaMan64220d ago

Don't like 'em? Don't buy 'em. Just like with any other product you don't wish to support.

WeebLord220d ago

But all the filthy casuals man, ruining our hobby with what's clearly Daddy's money because no one has disposable income. How can you? When you spend most of your days on a forum complaining about irrelevant things like Loot boxes like a real gamer making money is hard.

Just so we are all clear, I agree with BenjaMan64. It's pretty easy to not engage with Loot boxes or Micro transactions, does the game push you to use them? Don't buy the game, there are so many other games out there no one is starved for games. Need to play a Star wars or LOTR game? Well tough luck, move on and grow up.

TejasTV220d ago

I agree for sure but at the same time it's kind of meh for those of us who don't live at home with our parents and their money. Even with cosmetics I feel a little shafted because i don't have the time or money to get that cool hat. I get that it's on me to just play the game and I'm not even saying anyone has to change this but I'm aloud to be bummed out that I will never get that hat because I have to deal with real life. Actually I've stopped playing multiplayer games because of this kind of stuff. I just want everyone to be even in everything except skill and the cosmetics are annoying and then non cosmetic bs is bs. I hate it. But it's not usually an issue for me as I move away from multiplayer gaming. But now with it leaking into single player games it's really irking me. I get the argument that games need more money invested now a days I just wish there was a better way. I don't have the solution though so for now I can only be a smarter consumer and hope others are doing the same.

Servbot41220d ago

Yeah, not buying microtransactions sure worked out well.. it led to them being put into single player games as well.

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TGG_overlord220d ago

Go home ESRB, you're drunk!

subtenko220d ago

"Are loot boxes gambling?" Well them me, are we gonna include randomized in-game treasure chest/rewards in single player and multiplayer gameplay? I guess all items need to be the same in a fixed place at a fixed time....

RommyReigns220d ago (Edited 220d ago )

In the UK this week is 'Responsible Gambling Week' (12th-18th October). These loot boxes and packs should be included, they are basically 'legalised gambling'. What's worse is in games like FIFA kiddies see their favourite youtuber like W2S spend thousands on packs for the best 'Ultimate Team' and get tempted to gamble on packs using the dumb parent's card connected to their PSN account.

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