Apple Inc. changed the rules about loot boxes in games on its app store. In a change to its developer guidelines, the company said games must tell players about the odds of gaining specific items in loot boxes.
Loot boxes have been controversial over the past few months as some experts opined that they are part of covert lottery. These boxes give away random rewards for gameplay and often provide benefits and power-ups to players which can be utilized in games.
In its updated guidelines, the Cupertino-based tech giant outlined that in-game mechanism which rewards gamers with “randomized virtual items” must provide the odds at which players will receive each type of item. Moreover, the company outlined customers need to be informed about these odds prior to purchase of the boxes or rewards.
Many games provide extras to players which can result in change of the appearance of the game, include new characters, or offer power-ups which can help people as the game proceeds. Some games allow people to purchase loot boxes with in-game funding generated by playing or spending money to buy the virtual cash in the game.
The controversy over the loot boxes grew in November when Activision took out loot boxes from the Star Wars Battlefront II game before the release.
Many politicians and experts expressed the need of better regulations for the games using loot boxes and crates. In U.K., there have been calls to regulate games using loot systems like other lotteries.
It is interesting to see how changes in regulations affect game publishing companies.