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ESA: We can't go to the "lowest common denominator of government" on loot boxes

At the Nordic Game Conference, Mike Gallagher warned against letting "over-reactions" to loot boxes influence the games industry's ability to self-regulate.

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Nyxus146d ago (Edited 146d ago )

"Most importantly, these in-game transactions are not gambling," Gallagher continued. "Video games never take money from a player and leave them with nothing. They never do. Players always receive an in-game feature that aids in customising their experience..."

That's one way to put it...

"Today, though, several governments around the world are seeking to classify loot boxes as gambling, taking power away from the industry. This, Gallagher said, "challenges our industry's freedom to innovate, and impairs our ability to continuously test new business models, which drive creativity and engagement with our audience."

Yes, keep describing it as something wonderful for gamers, makes you sound real credible.

"This is the case with the would-be regulators of loot boxes, he said, who don't understand that similar mechanisms and tools have existed in games for "a long time" - upon saying this, Gallagher elongated the "o" in "long" for effect."

He's trying real hard, I'll give him that.

JackBNimble146d ago

I'm not a fan of loot box's myself, the question is though.... Do you really want government regulations in video games?
We can debate what is and what is not gambling all day but if governments become aloud to regulate gaming where will it stop?
If governments had there way (like Trumps goat show) you can say goodbye to mature and violent games.

Government involvement would change gaming as we know it forever.

Nyxus146d ago

It depends on what they regulate. Not content, but business practices like these, yes, I would welcome it.

UCForce146d ago

The thing is that if publishers gone too far with this, the government will regulate them by force. So gaming publishers have two choice : Back off or face consequences ? So which choice is it ?

Realms146d ago (Edited 146d ago )

Well if EA and Activision would stop being greedy turds we wouldn't be having this discussion the question isn't about government regulation it's about the industry's ability to self regulate nobody asked for MT's these greedy publishers added them because they can make even more money than what they already do. If it isn't gambling then EA and Activision should post the odds for each item in the loot box system but they won't because they know it's rigged to get you keep spending money until you get what you want.

indysurfn146d ago

They already regulate gaming it is the reason you have game with M and A and k12 ratings.

rainslacker146d ago

If the industry isn't going to regulate itself to the benefit of the consumer, then maybe regulation should be looked at.

Just because the game industry got ahead of the government back in the 90's when they were under attack for causing violence, doesn't mean they've done jack squat to regulate anything since.

The problem is is that the industry, and the community seem to be at odds over what is acceptable, and if you allow the industry to regulate itself, they're going to do only what benefits themselves. Making a rating system back in the day served that purpose, and it was also beneficial for the consumer. That doesn't mean that the current topic is the same deal. Equating the two is just obfuscating the issue.

As far as if loot boxes are gambling, I'd say in some ways yes. Sure, you always get a "prize", but the value of that reward is subjective, and means people may be compelled to spend until they get what they want. That is what people who gamble do. They spend, until they get what they want. Whether it's money, or some kind of prize.

RandoCommenter145d ago

@Realms you make an excellent point.

ginganinja145d ago

Government involvement is usually blunt and broad. They're not going to create regulations just to control one or two titles/publishers and anything they did would undoubtedly have an impact on other games and devs and not in a good way.

Regulation also costs money for all the red tape, and who pays for that ? Us. So we'd end up all paying extra for nothing in order to save some people paying extra for something.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 145d ago
yomfweeee146d ago

Just because you're getting some small minute reward at minimum doesn't mean it isn't gambling. If you buying for the 1% chance at like a legendary item... that's a gamble.

MuddyWaters146d ago

If you don't think the odds are in your favor then don't buy them. If lootcrates impact my game then I have a legitimate complaint. If they are however just cosmetic then who gives a ****.

zaherdab146d ago (Edited 146d ago )

So if a slot machine always returned a nickle or a potato seed at least it would stop being gambling

stuna1146d ago

^^This^^ Cosmetic or not it requires real world money! That is the definition of gambling. You are not receiving a necessity of of life, but you are spending a necessity for life.

As it stands the likelihood of the profits being made off of loot boxes and microtranactions are more focused on pre adolescent and teens, it an obvious problem since many don't understand the impact money plays in the real world, Hell even some adult don't!

yomfweeee146d ago

Who wants to start a casino with me based on this loophole?

chrisx146d ago (Edited 146d ago )

there is nothing good about lootboxes. Mike Gallagher, you talking BS.

lociefer146d ago

Lol does he even believe his own shit ? I mean a thief is a thief, don't sugarcoat it.

rainslacker146d ago

The ESA is a lobbyist group for the industry. He doesn't have to believe it, he just has to sell it.

Despite them being good in the past at trying to balance things between government, the industry, and the consumer, they seem to be all about the industry in this case. They won't acknoledge the problem or talk about why it's a problem. They won't say that the industry will regulate itself on this, only that the industry should be allowed to, because the industry has self-regulated for a while now. But offers up no solution to the current topic that people have a problem with. Given that the ESA is financed by the industry, their views on the subject are going to be very one sided, showing that there seems to be no actual interest to self-regulate, only to be left alone to do whatever they want. In the real world, most industries can't get that big before regulation happens. The video game industry has been pretty lucky to go this long, and loot boxes only made legislators look at something they can actually control that doesn't upset the constitution.

UCForce146d ago

Wow, what a load of BS. You are defending publishers greedy antics. Nothing more, nothing less.

bigmalky146d ago

Another publisher that will be avoided.

Thanks.

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