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US Senator Seeks to Ban Loot Boxes & Pay-to-Win Microtransactions

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Republican Senator Josh Howley has proposed a ban on loot boxes and pay-to-win microtransactions in titles for minors, claiming they are preying on user addiction and exploiting children.

The Chinese government has restricted the number of loot boxes players can open each day and the government of Belgium said they were in violation of its gambling laws, according to BBC.

Numerous countries including Australia, Denmark, Germany, and the UK had determined that loot boxes had nothing to do with gambling.

On the other side of the spectrum, there's a chance loot boxes will be ruled illegal in the US in titles popular with minors.

Republican Senator Howley said of his proposed Protecting Children from Abusive Games Bill:

Quote

"When a game is designed for kids, game developers shouldn't be allowed to monetize addiction.

And when kids play games designed for adults, they should be walled off from compulsive micro-transactions.

Game developers who knowingly exploit children should face legal consequences."

As a prime example, Howley singled out King's Candy Crush, where players can purchase a $149 bundle that comes with 1,000 units of its in-game currency.

The problem, however, does not only affect Candy Crush. The issue of loot boxes first came into light with Battlefront 2. Currently, a large portion of popular games, including Overwatch, PUBG, and Rocket League, all encourage microtransactions.

The bill first needs to pass the Senate and the House of Representatives, before potentially becoming a law, says Gamespot.

(Source)

Protecting Children from Abusive Games Bill

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That is great news for every gamer!

The sooner those stuff is heavily regulated, the sooner we have a chance that publisher will start making high quality games again.

At the moment they earn more money with bad games / casual games and lootboxes then with high quality games wihtout lootboxes.

Or they make the whole gameplay worse to "encourage" player to pay extra for lootboxes, just to get rid of mindless grind. (best - but not the only - example: Lord of the Rings 2? years ago. A singleplayer game that after finishing approx. 90% of the game added a huge grind just to be able to play the last few percente of the game and see the finishing sequence. And if you didn't want to grind for several hours you could buy lootboxes for approx. 20-40 bucks to get good enough gear without grinding. 
And this was a title that was sold for full price! Not a free to play game!

And this is horrible for me as a gamer.

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I dont live in the US, but as soon as there is such a law and act against this moneymaking strategies, it will impact the whole world i guess and this is good news. 

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4 hours ago, WedgeAntilles said:

That is great news for every gamer!

The sooner those stuff is heavily regulated, the sooner we have a chance that publisher will start making high quality games again.

i ... how shall i say this lightly... sincerely disagree.

If you think a game manufacturers that are - presumably - only out to gank your wallet and provide as shitty an experience as possible for you while doing so will magically give 2 cares about you and develop a good quality game because its illegal to do one specific form of microtransactions ... it just seems ridiculous.

I have a visceral distaste, bordering on disgust for pay to win games.  

I love warcraft and its lore and everything, been playing basically since BC straight.  But if they ever change to pay to win im done.  Period.  I refuse to play those games.

Thats the best way to end the PAY TO WIN scheme.  Dont buy it.  

Its no different than the 'BAKE THE CAKE' issue with gay marriage IMO.  Why would you want someone who hates you and wants to provide you with little to no service, to give you service??  It makes no sense.

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As much as i'd love seeing those lootboxes and P2W models to vanish into the Void of Nothingness ( where they belong ) i have serious doubts that this idea will kick in any time soon. Because we've already heard similair things with Battlefront 2 sh*tstorm but what do we have now? EA and other companies stopped making P2W *filtered*? Heck no. In fact they somehow went full ham with it. As long as these boys in suits keep making more money with microtransactions to afford their lawyers capable of handling any criticism we ain't getting anywhere.
Basically what i am saying is that the best way to show them we hate this stuff is just never buying it. And i'm not talking about the game if it's good at the core (if it's unplayable without spending money on boosts and loot - then yeah, screw that too). I'm talking about never buying any boost or stuff like that.

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4 minutes ago, PatrickHenry said:

i ... how shall i say this lightly... sincerely disagree.

If you think a game manufacturers that are - presumably - only out to gank your wallet and provide as shitty an experience as possible for you while doing so will magically give 2 cares about you and develop a good quality game because its illegal to do one specific form of microtransactions ... it just seems ridiculous.

I have a visceral distaste, bordering on disgust for pay to win games.  

I love warcraft and its lore and everything, been playing basically since BC straight.  But if they ever change to pay to win im done.  Period.  I refuse to play those games.

Thats the best way to end the PAY TO WIN scheme.  Dont buy it.  

Its no different than the 'BAKE THE CAKE' issue with gay marriage IMO.  Why would you want someone who hates you and wants to provide you with little to no service, to give you service??  It makes no sense.

I agree.

The government shouldn't  regulate this stuff. People just shouldn't buy it and parents shouldn't give their kids credit cards to buy it with.

We need less government regulation not more. The government isn't your mommy and daddy. You can make decisions for yourselves.

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18 minutes ago, PatrickHenry said:

i ... how shall i say this lightly... sincerely disagree.

If you think a game manufacturers that are - presumably - only out to gank your wallet and provide as shitty an experience as possible for you while doing so will magically give 2 cares about you and develop a good quality game because its illegal to do one specific form of microtransactions ... it just seems ridiculous.

I have a visceral distaste, bordering on disgust for pay to win games.  

I love warcraft and its lore and everything, been playing basically since BC straight.  But if they ever change to pay to win im done.  Period.  I refuse to play those games.

Thats the best way to end the PAY TO WIN scheme.  Dont buy it.  

Its no different than the 'BAKE THE CAKE' issue with gay marriage IMO.  Why would you want someone who hates you and wants to provide you with little to no service, to give you service??  It makes no sense.

You mean, Warcraft where you can buy character levels, gold, runs through dungeons and raids, and gear with said gold on the AH. You mean...that Pay to Win game? Please, Warcraft has been Pay to Win for a long, long time now. 

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11 minutes ago, Prophet001 said:

The government isn't your mommy and daddy. You can make decisions for yourselves.

You have no idea how many people forgot about that my man. You have no goddamn idea.

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38 minutes ago, Prophet001 said:

The government shouldn't  regulate this stuff. People just shouldn't buy it and parents shouldn't give their kids credit cards to buy it with.

Ideally, they shouldn't but a lot of people have compulsive disorders and are bad at managing their money, which can affect others (like giving their children unlimited access), so there is some merit to those regulations. Sadly, that phrase "vote with your wallets" doesn't work, it was same with dlcs. Even if majority of players aren't buying them, smaller percentage of these so-called whales makes up for it. 

Not buying this stuff would only reduce amount of it being made after game's release. Adding loot boxes or other forms of microtransactions costs nothing (if it's content developed as part of base, pre-release game), so they would still keep appearing just so that small number of players might buy them (especially that type of people mentioned before). Belgium for example, has banned loot boxes rather successfully and forced Blizzard to remove ability for buying them in OW and HotS.

The way I see it, it's a very contentious issue. But would I miss them if they were banned, provided mine and many other countries would follow? Certainly not.

Edited by Arcling

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5 hours ago, WedgeAntilles said:

That is great news for every gamer!

The sooner those stuff is heavily regulated, the sooner we have a chance that publisher will start making high quality games again.

At the moment they earn more money with bad games / casual games and lootboxes then with high quality games wihtout lootboxes.

Or they make the whole gameplay worse to "encourage" player to pay extra for lootboxes, just to get rid of mindless grind. (best - but not the only - example: Lord of the Rings 2? years ago. A singleplayer game that after finishing approx. 90% of the game added a huge grind just to be able to play the last few percente of the game and see the finishing sequence. And if you didn't want to grind for several hours you could buy lootboxes for approx. 20-40 bucks to get good enough gear without grinding. 
And this was a title that was sold for full price! Not a free to play game!

And this is horrible for me as a gamer.

I totally agree, i think at most the ingame stores should be cosmetic stuff and stuff that is not gambling, like spending X amount of money to get a crate and then to open it and get a totally rubbish item.

This is why i like things like level boosts, wow tokens, mounts and so on....you buy it, you get it, no maybes or ifs.

I am honestly getting sick and tired of games being released that are so poorly done with *filtered* storylines that take only 10 hours to do if that and it costs over £40.......for something that is worth no more than £10......£15 tops? nope, i suggest they take out all the gambling *filtered* and put in more effort for more polished, imaginative content.

Edited by Lithari

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43 minutes ago, PatrickHenry said:

If you think a game manufacturers that are - presumably - only out to gank your wallet and provide as shitty an experience as possible for you while doing so will magically give 2 cares about you and develop a good quality game because its illegal to do one specific form of microtransactions ... it just seems ridiculous.


Thats the best way to end the PAY TO WIN scheme.  Dont buy it.  
 

It is the other way round: Why should companies spent lots of money and take big risks, if they can earn MORE money without spending lots of money and having very little risk?

You claim companies are selfless and provide us with good games out of the goodness of their heart.

I claim that most companies don't care about that, they care about making good money. And they choose the path that is easiest.

What happens if they do not have the ability to take the most easiest path anymore?

Well, then they have to find other ways to make money. Maybe like they did earlier - by making good games.

 

And if you take a look at the development of games in the last years I think it is totally obvious that my point is correct.

The only big companie that is really interested in making great games is CD Project.

Sure, there are some smaller companies, some indie products that are awesome.

And those are the companies that receive my money.

 

Do not buy it: Sure. That WOULD be the best way. Obviously, it doesn't work. Just take a look at sales figures. It is sad, but that is reality. There is no point in denying it.

 

Empirie shows that games got worse with the whole lootbox / skins / games as a service and stuff like that.

Because it is easy money for the companies.

With laws against that there is a chance (only a chance!) that this process will be reversed a little bit.

 

As a liberal I do not like the government meddling. Ad a gamer I hope it will result in better games.

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47 minutes ago, Prophet001 said:

I agree.

The government shouldn't  regulate this stuff. People just shouldn't buy it and parents shouldn't give their kids credit cards to buy it with.

We need less government regulation not more. The government isn't your mommy and daddy. You can make decisions for yourselves.

To quote myself:

As a liberal I do not like the government meddling. Ad a gamer I hope it will result in better games.

 

XP Booster, Skins and stuff: Yeah, it is quite difficult to argue why that stuff should be regulated. Totally agree. However, I'd love to see it get regulated, because those stuff destroys games.

Lootboxes: Since lootboxes are nothing else then slotmachines it is extremly important to regulate those stuff. Gambling (same with drugs and alcohol) musn't be made avaiable to children. This are areas the government has the obligation to regulate. Because children are not small adults. Children can't decide for themselves. (Which is why children must never be allowed too. Both goes hand in hand.)

(How long you are a children and when you become adult is debatable of course. 16? 18?)

 

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20 minutes ago, WedgeAntilles said:

(How long you are a children and when you become adult is debatable of course. 16? 18?)

Some people never grow up in an emotional sense.

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1 hour ago, OldManKrypton said:

You mean, Warcraft where you can buy character levels, gold, runs through dungeons and raids, and gear with said gold on the AH. You mean...that Pay to Win game? Please, Warcraft has been Pay to Win for a long, long time now. 

I mean, it's not pay to win. Gacha mobile games are pay to win. You literally pay thousands of dollars to whale your account to a point where you have to do absolutely nothing but allow your incredibly overpowered team with perfect gear/upgrades to auto pilot to high ranks. 

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1 hour ago, OldManKrypton said:

You mean, Warcraft where you can buy character levels, gold, runs through dungeons and raids, and gear with said gold on the AH. You mean...that Pay to Win game? Please, Warcraft has been Pay to Win for a long, long time now. 

You  mean the levels that add nothing to the overall power of your character?  If they added you top of the line gear and items that nobody else could get without buying it I might bite into your troll post but sorry, not sorry.

"you can use gold."  Thats in game gold.  You cant (by terms of use) buy gold with cash.  Closest they allow with that would in essence be a wow token, and those are set rates and only good for game time.  so yes, in a VERY roundabout way it could, in theory, be considered pay to win.

But its so far outside the normal "pay to win" scheme that it bares little to no resemblance and is laughable that it could be considered as such.

Show me a cash for arena rating or cash for buff system that lets you dominate the competition and I'll consider your point but unfortunately none exist.  

...unless youre talkinga bout competition in speed levelling I guess?

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7 hours ago, WedgeAntilles said:

That is great news for every gamer!

The sooner those stuff is heavily regulated, the sooner we have a chance that publisher will start making high quality games again.

At the moment they earn more money with bad games / casual games and lootboxes then with high quality games wihtout lootboxes.

Or they make the whole gameplay worse to "encourage" player to pay extra for lootboxes, just to get rid of mindless grind. (best - but not the only - example: Lord of the Rings 2? years ago. A singleplayer game that after finishing approx. 90% of the game added a huge grind just to be able to play the last few percente of the game and see the finishing sequence. And if you didn't want to grind for several hours you could buy lootboxes for approx. 20-40 bucks to get good enough gear without grinding. 
And this was a title that was sold for full price! Not a free to play game!

And this is horrible for me as a gamer.

Um...care to elaborate how will they make better games if they will make less money? If they can't have microtransactions, that money stays in the player's pocket. I am not a fan of loot-box kind of schemes, but I am thankful for all of the people who uses them, because those games usually end up being more well developed. WoW is a great example - altough I never used the in-game shop, but ever since we have that, the devs got a steady influx of capital that they can focus on actual content development whilst releasing a fluffy pet&mount combo every few months. I'm okay with that. Surely there are bad practices of how to do it, but the general theory of how microtransactions work very much contributed to the high quality of games available nowadays.

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21 minutes ago, Badadada said:

I am not a fan of loot-box kind of schemes, but I am thankful for all of the people who uses them, because those games usually end up being more well developed. WoW is a great example - altough I never used the in-game shop, but ever since we have that, the devs got a steady influx of capital that they can focus on actual content development whilst releasing a fluffy pet&mount combo every few months. I'm okay with that. 

That's not how it works, I'm afraid. Usually it makes publishers and developers lazier, especially publishers and their shareholders since they can never have enough. I wouldn't defend them like that, they were able to make tons of money way before that stuff was introduced, by simply making good games and large expansion. WoW isn't getting more content than before, and their recent designs just scream of doing things "cost-effective". And WoW had steady influx of capital before - it's called subscription, that stuff would have been fine in f2p only. OW relies on loot boxes, yet it's not getting much content, new hero or map once in a while and mostly rehashed events.

Edited by Arcling

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1 hour ago, Arcling said:

Ideally, they shouldn't but a lot of people have compulsive disorders and are bad at managing their money, which can affect others (like giving their children unlimited access), so there is some merit to those regulations. Sadly, that phrase "vote with your wallets" doesn't work, it was same with dlcs. Even if majority of players aren't buying them, smaller percentage of these so-called whales makes up for it.

There are addictions to virtually everything.  Shopping, chocolate, suntanning... 

The fact that people cant handle something should not be a reason to ban or regulate it.  Because there will always be someone with no self-control.

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" ban on loot boxes and pay-to-win microtransactions in titles for minors " LOL so 90-100% of mobile games LOLOLOL that will never happen what a stupid bill

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1 minute ago, Borgoff33 said:

" ban on loot boxes and pay-to-win microtransactions in titles for minors " LOL so 90-100% of mobile games LOLOLOL that will never happen what a stupid bill

There is always a much simplier option that doesn't require any bills or lawsuits.
Just. Don't. Buy. Their. Stuff

Edited by Steveson
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4 minutes ago, PatrickHenry said:

The fact that people cant handle something should not be a reason to ban or regulate it.  Because there will always be someone with no self-control.

True, but this one isn't physical goods, so it's actually way more feasible. Plus, there is also a matter of unethical business, so no one should feel bad if that thing gets regulated.

 

And it doesn't work, as majority might be spending very little or nothing at all, but as mentioned before - small percentage of whales make up for it.

1 minute ago, Steveson said:

There is always a much simplier option that doesn't require any bills or lawsuits.
Just. Don't. Buy. Their. Stuff

Edited by Arcling
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2 minutes ago, Arcling said:

True, but this one isn't physical goods, so it's actually way more feasible. Plus, there is also a matter of unethical business, so no one should feel bad if that thing gets regulated.

its not unethical, and even if it were some people like the games.  They can continue to buy it or not.

If you dont want it, dont buy it.  

There are people that think ANY profit is unethical.  I'd prefer if those people didnt have control over regulation any more than you want it.

Edited by PatrickHenry
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16 minutes ago, PatrickHenry said:

its not unethical.  

If you dont want it, dont buy it.  

There are people that think ANY profit is unethical.  I'd prefer if those people didnt have control over regulation any more than you want it.

It is unethical, preying on people's weaknesses, no matter how is it worded. It is still gambling. And we're not talking here about such extremes as any profit being unethical, this is obviously ridiculous. Simple as that - *filtered* those triple A industry practices. 🙂 Every business needs some regulations, economies are usually a mix of free market and regulations.

Edited by Arcling

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      And here's the original D2 intro cinematic, upscaled with machine learning earlier this year as a bonus in case you missed it.
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