The controversy surrounding loot boxes has grown exponentially in recent years when pay-to-win microtransactions snuck their way into what was supposed to be a cosmetics-only feature for potential more revenue. While it shouldn't be begrudged for a business wanting to make additional money - that is the very nature of business - the real issue lies in players being able to buy their way into an advantage, almost forcing the feeling of needing to spend more money in order to keep the pace. EA has been one of the biggest companies hit with this negative spotlight, but they definitely aren't alone. As more countries push for fairer practices, numerous big industry names have come forward in favor of change: including EA.
The Entertainment Software Association released a public statement regarding Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony's new policies regarding games containing loot boxes. This policy aims to make the odds of these paid options more transparent, allowing consumers to make more educated decisions on whether or not the buy is worth it. Huge names in the industry are on board including Blizzard, Bethesda, EA, Take-To, Ubisoft, and more - several of those names having had been in the hot seat in the past regarding this exact practice.
"Many other ESA members are considering a disclosure," reads the joint statement. "The disclosure will apply to all new games and updates to games that add such in-game purchases and will be presented in a manner that is understandable and easily accessed. Taken together, these disclosures will help reach consumers playing across a variety of games, including PC games and other games delivered outside of the platforms."
As more and more legislative actions come forward against this practice, the time for change was definitely inevitable but it's good to see progress being made and made quickly. Numerous countries have already cracked down immensely, with some pushing to outlaw loot boxes altogether.
A recent report made by GameIndustry also outlines which companies are not yet on board with this new disclosure:
- 505 Games
- CI Games
- Deep Silver
- Epic Games
- Focus Home Interactive
- Gearbox Publishing
- Intellivision Entertainment
- Magic Leap
- Riot Games
- Square Enix
- THQ Nordic
We don't have a solid release date yet for when this disclosure rule will go live but the end goal is before 2021.