Three Korean Companies Have Been Fined For Loot Boxes
Three Korean companies have been recently fined almost one million dollars over loot boxes practices.
Kotaku reported that Next Floor and Netmarble were ordered to pay small fines, but Nexon a much bigger one, amounting to $875,000, due to the company’s handling of loot boxes in a special event for the game Sudden Attack.
According to reports, players were required to complete a puzzle during this event, with two of the required pieces offered in loot boxes. According to the Korean FTC, the odds of getting pieces weren’t detailed properly.
The Korean FTC argued that consumers believed the odds of obtaining each piece were the same, when in fact some of the pieces would only be present in 0.5% of loot boxes. They highlighted the case of one player who spent $430 trying to get the pieces as an example of the effect that advertising was having on players.
The FTC’s actions have signaled alarm across the Korean game sector, as it could hurt the sales of in-game items — particularly randomized items, which users tend to continuously buy until they get a desired result — that contribute immensely to profits.
With more and more counties taking a stance against bad loot boxes practices, many developers have started abandoning them, for the time being at least. There’s no doubt, however, that they will come up with something new, so the war against loot boxes and similar practices has only just begun. Who will win? Only time will tell.