Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

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Hime
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Hime » Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:49 pm

Tomous wrote:
Hime wrote:
Tomous wrote:I don't see any way you could argue that it isn't gambling frankly

It isn't gambling by the definition as there is nothing you can gain. Why don't we just call it predatory and illegal in the way some adverts can't be put on at a certain time?


Gambling just means taking a risk for a reward. I would say lootboxes fit that.

Loot boxes are just buying a 'product'.

I'm not disagreeing with you by the way, just suggesting that sticking to what strictly defines as gambling is how they get away with it.

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Moggy
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Moggy » Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:57 pm

Hime wrote:
Tomous wrote:
Hime wrote:
Tomous wrote:I don't see any way you could argue that it isn't gambling frankly

It isn't gambling by the definition as there is nothing you can gain. Why don't we just call it predatory and illegal in the way some adverts can't be put on at a certain time?


Gambling just means taking a risk for a reward. I would say lootboxes fit that.

Loot boxes are just buying a 'product'.

I'm not disagreeing with you by the way, just suggesting that sticking to what strictly defines as gambling is how they get away with it.


They are not buying a product though are they?

Buying a product is when you spend money on a specific thing you want. Normal DLC works like this, if you want a level, a skin, a weapon etc then you just buy it.

Loot boxes are buying the chance of obtaining a product that you want. You might get a skin, weapon etc that you need/want, but you might get something you don't need/want. That's gambling.

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Karl_
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Karl_ » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:11 pm

@Hime: I think the point is that we want to update the legal definition of & regulations around gambling to cover the grey-area edge-case of virtual lootboxes. That's why new legislation or regulation is required.

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Buffalo
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Buffalo » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:12 pm

I’m looking forward to them doing away with loot boxes and just offering the specific item for a specific fee. Want Lionel Messi in Fifa? Tenner. Want to play as Darth Vader? Fiver. But then that’s pay-to-win isn’t it, which is almost as bad.

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Hime
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Hime » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:22 pm

Moggy wrote:
Hime wrote:
Tomous wrote:
Hime wrote:
Tomous wrote:I don't see any way you could argue that it isn't gambling frankly

It isn't gambling by the definition as there is nothing you can gain. Why don't we just call it predatory and illegal in the way some adverts can't be put on at a certain time?


Gambling just means taking a risk for a reward. I would say lootboxes fit that.

Loot boxes are just buying a 'product'.

I'm not disagreeing with you by the way, just suggesting that sticking to what strictly defines as gambling is how they get away with it.


They are not buying a product though are they?

Buying a product is when you spend money on a specific thing you want. Normal DLC works like this, if you want a level, a skin, a weapon etc then you just buy it.

Loot boxes are buying the chance of obtaining a product that you want. You might get a skin, weapon etc that you need/want, but you might get something you don't need/want. That's gambling.

But it isn't gambling as you play with a currency that you don't have the chance of increasing.

Karl_ wrote:@Hime: I think the point is that we want to update the legal definition of & regulations around gambling to cover the grey-area edge-case of virtual lootboxes. That's why new legislation or regulation is required.

Maybe I'm explaining myself poorly but I've tried to point out that maybe the aim shouldn't be too get loot boxes defined as gambling as that gives company defined barriers to work around. Just class them as predatory or exploitative and be done with it.

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Knoyleo
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Knoyleo » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:36 pm

Hime wrote:
Moggy wrote:
Hime wrote:
Tomous wrote:
Hime wrote:
Tomous wrote:I don't see any way you could argue that it isn't gambling frankly

It isn't gambling by the definition as there is nothing you can gain. Why don't we just call it predatory and illegal in the way some adverts can't be put on at a certain time?


Gambling just means taking a risk for a reward. I would say lootboxes fit that.

Loot boxes are just buying a 'product'.

I'm not disagreeing with you by the way, just suggesting that sticking to what strictly defines as gambling is how they get away with it.


They are not buying a product though are they?

Buying a product is when you spend money on a specific thing you want. Normal DLC works like this, if you want a level, a skin, a weapon etc then you just buy it.

Loot boxes are buying the chance of obtaining a product that you want. You might get a skin, weapon etc that you need/want, but you might get something you don't need/want. That's gambling.

But it isn't gambling as you play with a currency that you don't have the chance of increasing.

Karl_ wrote:@Hime: I think the point is that we want to update the legal definition of & regulations around gambling to cover the grey-area edge-case of virtual lootboxes. That's why new legislation or regulation is required.

Maybe I'm explaining myself poorly but I've tried to point out that maybe the aim shouldn't be too get loot boxes defined as gambling as that gives company defined barriers to work around. Just class them as predatory or exploitative and be done with it.

But is there any tangible benefit to this? As far as I'm aware, there are no legal restrictions around predatory or exploitative mechanics in entertainment products, which is part of the problem. The goal of getting them classified as gambling mechanics (which they absolutely are, btw) is that this then means they have a legal framework in place already, which they must now comply with.

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Moggy
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Moggy » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:39 pm

Hime wrote:[
But it isn't gambling as you play with a currency that you don't have the chance of increasing.


Since when was that the definition of gambling?

Are you saying that raffles are not gambling?

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Hime
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Hime » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:41 pm

Knoyleo wrote:
Hime wrote:
Moggy wrote:
Hime wrote:
Tomous wrote:
Hime wrote:
Tomous wrote:I don't see any way you could argue that it isn't gambling frankly

It isn't gambling by the definition as there is nothing you can gain. Why don't we just call it predatory and illegal in the way some adverts can't be put on at a certain time?


Gambling just means taking a risk for a reward. I would say lootboxes fit that.

Loot boxes are just buying a 'product'.

I'm not disagreeing with you by the way, just suggesting that sticking to what strictly defines as gambling is how they get away with it.


They are not buying a product though are they?

Buying a product is when you spend money on a specific thing you want. Normal DLC works like this, if you want a level, a skin, a weapon etc then you just buy it.

Loot boxes are buying the chance of obtaining a product that you want. You might get a skin, weapon etc that you need/want, but you might get something you don't need/want. That's gambling.

But it isn't gambling as you play with a currency that you don't have the chance of increasing.

Karl_ wrote:@Hime: I think the point is that we want to update the legal definition of & regulations around gambling to cover the grey-area edge-case of virtual lootboxes. That's why new legislation or regulation is required.

Maybe I'm explaining myself poorly but I've tried to point out that maybe the aim shouldn't be too get loot boxes defined as gambling as that gives company defined barriers to work around. Just class them as predatory or exploitative and be done with it.

But is there any tangible benefit to this? As far as I'm aware, there are no legal restrictions around predatory or exploitative mechanics in entertainment products, which is part of the problem. The goal of getting them classified as gambling mechanics (which they absolutely are, btw) is that this then means they have a legal framework in place already, which they must now comply with.

What practical changes will be made if loot boxes are classed as gambling? You have to be 18 and can set up limits to the amount you can put in your wallet?

Maybe I'm wrong but I thought there were restrictions around when certain adverts and the likes could be put on for foods and toys that were considered exploitive.

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Hime
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Hime » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:45 pm

Moggy wrote:
Hime wrote:[
But it isn't gambling as you play with a currency that you don't have the chance of increasing.


Since when was that the definition of gambling?

Are you saying that raffles are not gambling?

Maybe that a sloppy way of getting across what I'm trying to say but with FUT packs you are buying 8 player cards or whatever and that is what you get, there is no chance of getting something worth more than what you have risked.

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Tomous
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Tomous » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:46 pm

Ignoring anything legal, I think there would be a tangible benefit in classifying it is a gambling so how wider society views them-parents would be more wary of them etc.

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Drumstick
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Drumstick » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:46 pm

The entire concept of add-ons, DLC, so-called booster packs should just be done away with. It wasn't a thing in previous eras and it isn't required now.

I don't buy any of it and if everyone followed suit, they'd all become a thing of the past and we'd all be better off for it.

One man should not have this much power in this game. Luckily I'm not an ordinary man.
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Knoyleo
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Knoyleo » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:47 pm

Hime wrote:
Knoyleo wrote:
Hime wrote:
Moggy wrote:
Hime wrote:
Tomous wrote:
Hime wrote:
Tomous wrote:I don't see any way you could argue that it isn't gambling frankly

It isn't gambling by the definition as there is nothing you can gain. Why don't we just call it predatory and illegal in the way some adverts can't be put on at a certain time?


Gambling just means taking a risk for a reward. I would say lootboxes fit that.

Loot boxes are just buying a 'product'.

I'm not disagreeing with you by the way, just suggesting that sticking to what strictly defines as gambling is how they get away with it.


They are not buying a product though are they?

Buying a product is when you spend money on a specific thing you want. Normal DLC works like this, if you want a level, a skin, a weapon etc then you just buy it.

Loot boxes are buying the chance of obtaining a product that you want. You might get a skin, weapon etc that you need/want, but you might get something you don't need/want. That's gambling.

But it isn't gambling as you play with a currency that you don't have the chance of increasing.

Karl_ wrote:@Hime: I think the point is that we want to update the legal definition of & regulations around gambling to cover the grey-area edge-case of virtual lootboxes. That's why new legislation or regulation is required.

Maybe I'm explaining myself poorly but I've tried to point out that maybe the aim shouldn't be too get loot boxes defined as gambling as that gives company defined barriers to work around. Just class them as predatory or exploitative and be done with it.

But is there any tangible benefit to this? As far as I'm aware, there are no legal restrictions around predatory or exploitative mechanics in entertainment products, which is part of the problem. The goal of getting them classified as gambling mechanics (which they absolutely are, btw) is that this then means they have a legal framework in place already, which they must now comply with.

What practical changes will be made if loot boxes are classed as gambling? You have to be 18 and can set up limits to the amount you can put in your wallet?

Maybe I'm wrong but I thought there were restrictions around when certain adverts and the likes could be put on for foods and toys that were considered exploitive.

Junk food ads targeted at kids were specifically legislated against, after years of lobbying, and then back and forths over the actual drafting of the legislation. They weren't just classed as exploitative and then banned from being put in front of kids under some all encompasing "anti-exploitative" laws.

Gambling is already a heavily regulated industry, with existing guidance in place about retail to minors, advertising that appeals to minors, etc, and the label gambling as a visible presence on the box, or disclaimer when making a digital purchase, makes it clear to parents and adult consumers, that there's something serious to be considered inside the that purchase, for more so than some small text that simply says "contains in-app purchases".

Gambling legislation itself is far from perfect, and needs a significant overhaul in my opinion, but moving loot boxes into that category is absolutely appropriate, and is a good first step to minimising harm to kids that can get suckered into systems they don't understand, with genuine habit forming psychological consequences.

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Tomous
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Tomous » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:47 pm

Hime wrote:
Moggy wrote:
Hime wrote:[
But it isn't gambling as you play with a currency that you don't have the chance of increasing.


Since when was that the definition of gambling?

Are you saying that raffles are not gambling?

Maybe that a sloppy way of getting across what I'm trying to say but with FUT packs you are buying 8 player cards or whatever and that is what you get, there is no chance of getting something worth more than what you have risked.



That's not true though. You could get Ronaldo or you could get rubbish/players you've already got, in which case the lootbox was a waste for you.

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Tomous
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Tomous » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:48 pm

Drumstick wrote:The entire concept of add-ons, DLC, so-called booster packs should just be done away with. It wasn't a thing in previous eras and it isn't required now.

I don't buy any of it and if everyone followed suit, they'd all become a thing of the past and we'd all be better off for it.



There's definitely a cynical side to this but I think you're missing out if you discount all DLC. There have been some great gaming experiences via DLC this generation.

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Moggy
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Moggy » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:50 pm

Tomous wrote:
Hime wrote:
Moggy wrote:
Hime wrote:[
But it isn't gambling as you play with a currency that you don't have the chance of increasing.


Since when was that the definition of gambling?

Are you saying that raffles are not gambling?

Maybe that a sloppy way of getting across what I'm trying to say but with FUT packs you are buying 8 player cards or whatever and that is what you get, there is no chance of getting something worth more than what you have risked.



That's not true though. You could get Ronaldo or you could get rubbish/players you've already got, in which case the lootbox was a waste for you.


Exactly.

I would be gambling that I'd get a good player or somebody I wanted. There's a chance of that happening, but equally I could end up with some shite Bristol Rovers players.

If it was £5 for Ronaldo then that's just buying a product, if it's £5 for a random chance of a player, then that's gambling.

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Drumstick
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Drumstick » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:57 pm

Tomous wrote:
Drumstick wrote:The entire concept of add-ons, DLC, so-called booster packs should just be done away with. It wasn't a thing in previous eras and it isn't required now.

I don't buy any of it and if everyone followed suit, they'd all become a thing of the past and we'd all be better off for it.

There's definitely a cynical side to this but I think you're missing out if you discount all DLC. There have been some great gaming experiences via DLC this generation.

I'm sure, that isn't something I would argue. For example I've read great things about the Donkey Kong DLC for Mario + Rabbids.

But generally speaking I think these concepts have brought more negatives than positives; I fundamentally believe that you cannot have the good without the bad. Considering gaming was just fine before their introduction I'd rather see the back of it all.

One man should not have this much power in this game. Luckily I'm not an ordinary man.
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Hime
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Hime » Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:09 pm

Moggy wrote:
Tomous wrote:
Hime wrote:
Moggy wrote:
Hime wrote:[
But it isn't gambling as you play with a currency that you don't have the chance of increasing.


Since when was that the definition of gambling?

Are you saying that raffles are not gambling?

Maybe that a sloppy way of getting across what I'm trying to say but with FUT packs you are buying 8 player cards or whatever and that is what you get, there is no chance of getting something worth more than what you have risked.



That's not true though. You could get Ronaldo or you could get rubbish/players you've already got, in which case the lootbox was a waste for you.


Exactly.

I would be gambling that I'd get a good player or somebody I wanted. There's a chance of that happening, but equally I could end up with some shite Bristol Rovers players.

If it was £5 for Ronaldo then that's just buying a product, if it's £5 for a random chance of a player, then that's gambling.

This is how they get around it though isn't it, you don't lose anything you pay for a number of player cards and you get a number of player cards, needing or liking the player cards is the same level of gambling as buying and not liking any form of entertainment.

I hope it gets classified as gambling, I do wonder if parents that allow their children to spend hundreds on FUT packs are suddenly going to care just because of the classification.

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Moggy
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Moggy » Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:34 pm

Hime wrote:[
This is how they get around it though isn't it, you don't lose anything you pay for a number of player cards and you get a number of player cards, needing or liking the player cards is the same level of gambling as buying and not liking any form of entertainment.


It's different.

If I buy a movie I've never heard of, then I'm "gambling" that I'll like it. But I am still getting the movie I paid for, there's no real gambling involved.

If I buy a loot box because it's the only way I can get the skin, item or character I want, then it's a total gamble. I might want a powerful gun, but end up with a hat. How do I ensure that the money I am paying guarantees I'll get the gun? I can't, I have to gamble that eventually the gun in inside the box.

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Hime
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Hime » Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:45 pm

Moggy wrote:
Hime wrote:[
This is how they get around it though isn't it, you don't lose anything you pay for a number of player cards and you get a number of player cards, needing or liking the player cards is the same level of gambling as buying and not liking any form of entertainment.


It's different.

If I buy a movie I've never heard of, then I'm "gambling" that I'll like it. But I am still getting the movie I paid for, there's no real gambling involved.

If I buy a loot box because it's the only way I can get the skin, item or character I want, then it's a total gamble. I might want a powerful gun, but end up with a hat. How do I ensure that the money I am paying guarantees I'll get the gun? I can't, I have to gamble that eventually the gun in inside the box.

I don't disagree but I'm pretty sure that's how they get around it, EA state they you are buying 'X random players' and you receive 'X random players'. They provide a definition of what you're buying, it's not pay £3.50 and possibly get 4000 players or possibly get 0 players.

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Tomous
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Tomous » Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:45 pm

Hime wrote:
Moggy wrote:
Hime wrote:[
This is how they get around it though isn't it, you don't lose anything you pay for a number of player cards and you get a number of player cards, needing or liking the player cards is the same level of gambling as buying and not liking any form of entertainment.


It's different.

If I buy a movie I've never heard of, then I'm "gambling" that I'll like it. But I am still getting the movie I paid for, there's no real gambling involved.

If I buy a loot box because it's the only way I can get the skin, item or character I want, then it's a total gamble. I might want a powerful gun, but end up with a hat. How do I ensure that the money I am paying guarantees I'll get the gun? I can't, I have to gamble that eventually the gun in inside the box.

I don't disagree but I'm pretty sure that's how they get around it, EA state they you are buying 'X random players' and you receive 'X random players'. They provide a definition of what you're buying, it's not pay £3.50 and possibly get 4000 players or possibly get 0 players.



Easy solution, ban the sale of packs without clearly marked contents.

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