Play Store Makes It Mandatory for Games to Show Loot Box Item Probability
We can all agree that loot boxes are the scourge of the gaming community. The fact that it is essentially a low-key gamble for an item you may or may not want doesn’t make it any better. Different countries have tried different approaches to tackle the problem. The Netherlands requires all companies to reveal the contents of loot boxes they’re opened. The USA wants to regulate them too. China, on the other hand, makes developers list the probability of receiving an item. The Play Store seems to be taking the same approach, as highlighted by the new Play Store policy:
Developers must not mislead users about the apps they are selling nor about any in-app services, goods, content, or functionality offered for purchase. If your product description on Google Play refers to in-app features that may require a specific or additional charge, your description must clearly notify users that payment is required to access those features. Apps offering mechanisms to receive randomized virtual items from a purchase (i.e. “loot boxes”) must clearly disclose the odds of receiving those items in advance of purchase.
Once the new rules are in effect, developers will be required to show the contents of a loot box and the probability of receiving each individual item. Titles such as tar Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and Godzilla Defense Force have already implemented the measure. We can expect other popular Play Store titles such as PUBG Mobile, Clash of Clans and Clash Royale to follow suit in the coming weeks.
The move will help a lot of new players understand the ground reality of loot boxes. Once a player has seen that the chances of them getting the shiny new weapon skin is less than 1%, it may deter them from throwing too much money at it. It is unlikely that the move will affect ‘whales’ a lot, considering that they’ll drop money into the game regardless.