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Lockboxes possibly to be classified as gambling by German authorities - decision in March

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  • valoreahvaloreah Member Posts: 10,929 Arc User
    edited February 2018
    nimbull wrote: »
    It would actually take some of the heat off the gambling argument. The keys would be directly available via a non purchase method by doing in game content where as right now someone has to pay a cash store for keys.

    And why would PWE want to lose out on all of those key sales?
    nimbull wrote: »

    This story was already posted by @tigeraries. Scroll up.
    Dear Devs: I enjoyed the Legacy of Romulus expansion much more than the Delta Rising expansion. .
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  • nimbullnimbull Member Posts: 1,543 Arc User
    valoreah wrote: »
    nimbull wrote: »
    It would actually take some of the heat off the gambling argument. The keys would be directly available via a non purchase method by doing in game content where as right now someone has to pay a cash store for keys.

    And why would PWE want to lose out on all of those key sales?
    nimbull wrote: »

    This story was already posted by @tigeraries. Scroll up.

    Actually I did a search of each page in Firefox for the URL and got no hits. That's why I posted it.
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  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,950 Arc User
    valoreah wrote: »
    nimbull wrote: »

    This story was already posted by @tigeraries. Scroll up.

    Same topic, different author and website.
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  • cavewarkcavewark Member Posts: 131 Arc User
    I would much prefer crypt make everything available from an ingame shop and remove the loot box mechanic totally. And I know I have spent a lot on cryptic over the 8 years but I don't want them to go out of business but I think loot boxes have had their day. Maybe if they moved away from this concept of "ships" = content and instead concentrate on episode packs we could purchase it would be better for the game.
  • cavewarkcavewark Member Posts: 131 Arc User
    The issue around the content be free is that Cryptic have zero incentive to put out new content as where new ships earn money and so have the higher priority.
  • mustrumridcully0mustrumridcully0 Member Posts: 12,954 Arc User
    cavewark wrote: »
    The issue around the content be free is that Cryptic have zero incentive to put out new content as where new ships earn money and so have the higher priority.
    "HP has zero incentive to put out new inkjet printers, they make all the money from selling their ink cartridges."
    Obviously, they have an interest to keep selling printers, because without printers to buy, people also don't need cartrdiges.

    It's the same for Cryptic. If they don't add new content (story content, fleet holdings, reputations), people have no reason to play and buy new ships.
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  • tunicate515#4416 tunicate515 Member Posts: 30 Arc User
    edited February 2018
    tigeraries wrote: »
    US Senator getting into the act now... Has asked ESRB to look into loot boxes/micro-transactions.

    https://kotaku.com/u-s-senator-asks-esrb-to-re-examine-loot-boxes-1823049616

    Full odds being disclosed a question of when not if. Bigger Q is if this will push games with these features into being AO only rating.
    nimbull wrote: »

    Serious question: why has the same story been posted 3 times on the same page of this thread? I know it's from different sites, but it's clearly all the SAME story. I honestly don't understand why people post in a thread if they aren't even bothering to keep up with the conversation to know if what they are about to post has already been posted. Why are you posting in a thread you aren't even bothering to read?
  • meimeitoomeimeitoo Member Posts: 12,367 Arc User
    tigeraries wrote: »
    US Senator getting into the act now... Has asked ESRB to look into loot boxes/micro-transactions.

    https://kotaku.com/u-s-senator-asks-esrb-to-re-examine-loot-boxes-1823049616

    Full odds being disclosed a question of when not if. Bigger Q is if this will push games with these features into being AO only rating.
    nimbull wrote: »

    Serious question: why has the same story been posted 3 times on the same page of this thread? I know it's from different sites, but it's clearly all the SAME story. I honestly don't understand why people post in a thread if they aren't even bothering to keep up with the conversation to know if what they are about to post has already been posted. Why are you posting in a thread you aren't even bothering to read?


    Serious answer: the first 2 stories are about a Senator pushing the ESRB for self-regulation. But in the the last one you relinked, Senator Hasson escalates the matter, and 'threatens' the FCT might become involved (if the industry doesn't take proper action themselves, fast enough), and that the gaming industry then is likely to face far dire consequences: "If legislation does move forward, it could have a dramatically greater effect on videogames than the ESRB."
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  • fakemirage#8763 fakemirage Member Posts: 24 Arc User
    edited February 2018
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    Post edited by baddmoonrizin on
  • valoreahvaloreah Member Posts: 10,929 Arc User
    starswordc wrote: »
    Same topic, different author and website.

    Yes, exactly.
    meimeitoo wrote: »
    Serious answer: the first 2 stories are about a Senator pushing the ESRB for self-regulation. But in the the last one you relinked, Senator Hasson escalates the matter, and 'threatens' the FCT might become involved (if the industry doesn't take proper action themselves, fast enough), and that the gaming industry then is likely to face far dire consequences: "If legislation does move forward, it could have a dramatically greater effect on videogames than the ESRB."

    It's still the same news story. I'm sure we can all find dozens of versions of this same story throughout the internet, each with their own spin on it. Personally, I don't believe posting them all would necessarily lend anything meaningful to the conversation.



    Dear Devs: I enjoyed the Legacy of Romulus expansion much more than the Delta Rising expansion. .
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  • terminatrixxx#8288 terminatrixxx Member Posts: 23 Arc User
    I don't see the gambling part in it. On Xbox Live is a cooldown period for buying stuff, which is more annoying than helpful lol.
    But in first place the parents should control what kids buy. Mature players are responsible for themself.
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  • faxmachine#9639 faxmachine Member Posts: 113 Arc User
    I for one am looking forward to seeing how all of this plays out.
  • evilmark444evilmark444 Member Posts: 6,556 Arc User
    It’s gambling and needs to be treated as such. I don’t mind gambling personally, but it needs to be regulated and monitored. After everything is said and done I would not at all be surprised to hear it’s now to expensive for games to have loot boxes. No way a studio afford all the licenses in every state, let alone the rest of the world.

    I agree, though my only real concern is for child gamers. IMHO, lock / loot box usage should be restricted by the local laws regarding gambling age. Granted, it would likely be easier to drop them altogether than to find a reliable way of policing the age of players, but that doesn't negate the very real issue that exists here.

    One thing that does concern me a bit though is that I see many people on other sites mention Hearthstone while talking about loot boxes, but that is a completely different concept. It's a card game, just like the Pokémon TCG or Magic the Gathering, the only difference is that you don't get physical cards.
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  • nimbullnimbull Member Posts: 1,543 Arc User
    Looks like the ESRB is getting involved more directly now with direct labeling of games that contain loot box features.

    https://www.polygon.com/2018/2/27/17057978/esrb-loot-crate-box-in-game-purchases-label
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  • jaguarskxjaguarskx Member Posts: 5,945 Arc User
    Merely a band-aid in a futile attempt delay the current investigation of loot boxes. The "In Game Purchase" sticker is too broad of a term to use for specifically addressing the issue of games that contains predatory loot boxes; meaning tying loot boxes directly to progress like SW:BF2 did. Any game that includes a cash store would get slapped with this sticker even if the game does not have any loot boxes. The Witcher 3 would get that sticker because that game has purchasable DLC and expansion packs.

    This is not enough of a preventative measure to stop the likelihood of the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) from doing an investigation of loot boxes. Game publishers definitely should avoid the possibly of federal / state legislation regulating the gaming industry. The state of Rhode Island wants to impose a 10% tax on "violent" video games; basically any game with a "M" rating or higher.
  • valoreahvaloreah Member Posts: 10,929 Arc User
    edited February 2018
    jaguarskx wrote: »
    Merely a band-aid in a futile attempt delay the current investigation of loot boxes. The "In Game Purchase" sticker is too broad of a term to use for specifically addressing the issue of games that contains predatory loot boxes; meaning tying loot boxes directly to progress like SW:BF2 did.

    I agree and from my understanding (and our European friends can answer this better), yet another warning label won't quite cut it in Germany either.

    Not sure I would categorize STO's lockboxes as "predatory" though as there is nothing in them that is required to play the game and be competitive. There is a difference between lockboxes here and what SW:BF2 IMO.


    Dear Devs: I enjoyed the Legacy of Romulus expansion much more than the Delta Rising expansion. .
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  • jaguarskxjaguarskx Member Posts: 5,945 Arc User
    valoreah wrote: »
    Not sure I would categorize STO's lockboxes as "predatory" though as there is nothing in them that is required to play the game and be competitive. There is a difference between lockboxes here and what SW:BF2 IMO.

    I never said STO's loot boxes are predatory in nature and I do not think I implied that either. However, rest assured that any legislature passed to limit loot boxes in games will have some type of affect on games with loot boxes whether they are predatory or not.
  • reyan01reyan01 Member Posts: 15,367 Arc User
    jaguarskx wrote: »
    valoreah wrote: »
    Not sure I would categorize STO's lockboxes as "predatory" though as there is nothing in them that is required to play the game and be competitive. There is a difference between lockboxes here and what SW:BF2 IMO.

    I never said STO's loot boxes are predatory in nature and I do not think I implied that either. However, rest assured that any legislature passed to limit loot boxes in games will have some type of affect on games with loot boxes whether they are predatory or not.

    Agreed.

    I suspect that one (probably false) conclusion some are jumping to is incorrect. I have a difficult time believing that anyone would be tasked with investigating the loot box mechanic of each and every game that has loot boxes.
    I don’t think that there is, for an example, a scenario where someone says “well, SW:BF2’s loot box system is blatantly pay-to-win whereas nothing in STO’s boxes is essential”.

    Chances are all games with a loot box system will simply be slapped with whatever legislation is decided upon when the time comes.

  • evilmark444evilmark444 Member Posts: 6,556 Arc User
    reyan01 wrote: »
    Chances are all games with a loot box system will simply be slapped with whatever legislation is decided upon when the time comes.

    Yeah, any legislation will definitely impact STO, regardless of how predatory it may or may not be.
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  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 35,231 Arc User
    IF legislation actually gets written... It'll probably get written as some sort of one-size-fits-all-badly thing and how much it impacts any individual game will be questionable.
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  • xyquarzexyquarze Member Posts: 2,091 Arc User
    Though regarding the OP, since we are not talking about new legislation in Germany but about application by existing ones by the BPjM, it is in the BPjM's scope to indeed check every individual game on its own merits, so there may be a gray area where some games get punished and others don't.

    However it is perfectly possible as well, that this would be a "guilty until proven innocent" kind of case, where lockboxes or similar systems may automatically lead to some kind of ban until it is shown that the system is not dangerous.
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  • asuran14asuran14 Member Posts: 2,326 Arc User
    I wonder if it would affect sto as you get the boxes in game without any need to buy them specifically, but yet to open them you need to buy a key from the c-store I doubt it would matter, but you never know with some things.
  • evilmark444evilmark444 Member Posts: 6,556 Arc User
    asuran14 wrote: »
    I wonder if it would affect sto as you get the boxes in game without any need to buy them specifically, but yet to open them you need to buy a key from the c-store I doubt it would matter, but you never know with some things.

    The verbage I've heard used by a lawmaker in Hawaii (don't remember his exact title unfortunately) is that lootbox refers to any system where real world money is used in a video game to obtain randomized rewards. That broad definition would hit CoD, SW:BF2, STO, SWTOR, and even TCGs like Hearthstone.
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  • leemwatsonleemwatson Member Posts: 4,525 Arc User
    Where's the outrage directed towards Dabo?? That IS gambling also technically!! You have a high risk of winning NOTHING! You 'can buy EC' with real cash (via buying keys etc). I stick to my guns that Lockboxes are not gambling and contain nothing that prevents you playing or progressing the game, and you ALWAYS get something.
    "You don't want to patrol!? You don't want to escort!? You don't want to defend the Federation's Starbases!? Then why are you flying my Starships!? If you were a Klingon you'd be killed on the spot, but lucky for you.....you WERE in Starfleet. Let's see how New Zealand Penal Colony suits you." Adm A. Necheyev.
  • baddmoonrizinbaddmoonrizin Member Posts: 7,036 Community Moderator
    leemwatson wrote: »
    Where's the outrage directed towards Dabo?? That IS gambling also technically!! You have a high risk of winning NOTHING! You 'can buy EC' with real cash (via buying keys etc). I stick to my guns that Lockboxes are not gambling and contain nothing that prevents you playing or progressing the game, and you ALWAYS get something.

    And what about people who keep calling for poker to be included? That is a real world gambling game.
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  • nimbullnimbull Member Posts: 1,543 Arc User
    leemwatson wrote: »
    Where's the outrage directed towards Dabo?? That IS gambling also technically!! You have a high risk of winning NOTHING! You 'can buy EC' with real cash (via buying keys etc). I stick to my guns that Lockboxes are not gambling and contain nothing that prevents you playing or progressing the game, and you ALWAYS get something.

    Dabo isn't quite the same thing for how it's presented in STO. GPL is one of the least cared about currencies in the game. It translates directly in to non-randomized rewards via a GPL store. Think of that as the quarter machines at super market exists that holds cheap toys. There isn't anything in the GPL store last I checked that could have an impact on game play outside of a party nullifier which is 100gpl. Something you could easily get even via the admiralty system and avoiding Dabo entirely.
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