Entertainment Software Association (ESA)’s Chief Counsel of Tech Policy, Michael Warnecke, announced at a recent Federal Trade Commission workshop examining loot boxes, that the video game industry will require disclosure of the odds of winning in-game items from paid loot boxes. Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony Interactive Entertainment have agreed to new platform policies with regard to paid loot boxes offered in new games and game updates. According to a blog published on the ESA’s website, the new policies would “require paid loot boxes in games developed for their platforms to disclose information on the relative rarity or probability of obtaining randomized virtual items.”  Some video game publishers already disclose odds of winning in-game virtual items from loot boxes and other publishers agreed to disclose the odds by no later than the end of 2020.
This new initiative to help consumers make informed decisions about their game purchases comes amid federal loot box legislation introduced in May and discussed in a previous blog. Should you have questions regarding loot boxes or the proposed legislation, please contact authors Karl Rutledge at firstname.lastname@example.org, Glenn Light at email@example.com, or Mary Tran at firstname.lastname@example.org.