1. TangoAlphaLima

    TangoAlphaLima
    Member OP

    FYI, this is the same Hawaii state representative, Chris Lee, who was very vocal about the Battlefront 2 loot box controversy. Apparently the legislation was introduced last month, but I don't recall hearing anything about it before this news article today. Also, I should note that this obviously only applies to video game sales in Hawaii if enacted, but it would certainly cause publishers a headache to adhere to different regulations from different states, so they could elect to make some of these changes nationwide.

    http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com...-target-video-games-with-rewards-for-a-price/

     
  2. While rates should be known, and if they eventually are great, it still won't change anything as people are still going to buy them.
     
  3. Crazy Izanagi

    Crazy Izanagi
    Member

    YES. PLEASE.
     
  4. Mario_Bones

    Mario_Bones
    Member

    These sound like good first steps, but companies will use all sorts of BS loopholes to get around displaying the odds. Blizzard have already done this in China
     
  5. This would make them Ao, essential.
    In Hawaii, at least.
    I don’t see it being enforced with how games are sold now a days
     
  6. Phantom Thief

    Phantom Thief
    Member

    Awesome.
     
  7. Smashwidget

    Smashwidget
    Member

    Won't this just lead to companies having you purchase a small amount of in-game currency with a "free" lootbox attached? IIRC Blizzard does this in China with Hearthstone and Overwatch to avoid having to show probability rates.
     
  8. true, for instance, fire emblem heroes made Nintendo a lot of money despite the rates being given shown.

    Still, it might stop them doing shady junk behind the scenes like modifying rates by an on player basis to maximize spending, without telling the player they're doing it.
     
  9. Kthulhu

    Kthulhu
    Member

    The goal isn't to stop them from being bought, it's for consumers to know if they're getting ripped off.
     
  10. spad3

    spad3
    Member

    how would this even be enforced? rated M games are required to have ID but any retailer that's not GameStop doesn't even bother to check.
     
  11. Deepwater

    Deepwater
    Member

    I’m pretty sure the goal for a lot of people were for them to stop being bought
     
  12. I would have to think most people that are buying them know the rates are shit. It's actually not even that hard to get at least a close idea of what percent they are if you keep tabs of what you actually pull. As I said rates should be known and they should have always been, but it won't change anything. It doesn't in Gacha games, and it won't here. The vast majority of people that buy lootboxes every OW event for instance are going to still do it even when it shows that 1% or whatever next to the skin they want.

    Now if it keeps them from changing rates around on a whim, then great. (If they do that)
     
  13. Raw64life

    Raw64life
    Member

    Not tough enough in my opinion but it's a good start.
     
  14. RecRoulette

    RecRoulette
    Member

    Games won't be sold in Hawaii and folks who live there will just import them from other states. Fun.

    Edit: If this actually catches on in other states, well then that would be something. I wonder how strong the ESA's lobbyists are.
     
  15. 10k

    10k
    Member

    I hope this passes. I really want to see if it works. Essentially any game with a loot box gets bumped up to Adult Only rating and gets a nasty logo on the front page cover saying "microtransactions".
     
  16. molnizzle

    molnizzle
    Member

    Because it's not the law that they have to check. ESRB is a self-regulating entity, not government enforced. GameStop just chooses to check ID's. They don't have to.

    Compare that to buying tobacco or alcohol. This bill would move loot box games into that category. Government regulated.
     
  17. NullPointer

    NullPointer
    Member

    Depending upon how its implemented known rates could help keep companies from personally tailoring their pricing to the individual. That's where I think we'll find the worst exploitation in the future.
     
  18. Kthulhu

    Kthulhu
    Member

    If their goal is for that to happen through legal means then that's a pipe dream.

    Best solution for that is to make them unpopular and not buy them.

    It will at least encourage developers to put out more favorable rates, and generate backlash if they are made less favorable.
     
  19. Nirolak

    Nirolak
    Member

    I suspect they will fail to pass the first set of bills and succeed at passing the second, but we’ll see.

    It sticks out that they split them instead of making it one bill.

    Edit:

    Oh, the first set includes no updating post launch. Yeah, that's still going to be a harder pitch. Were they to pass, I imagine most would just IP block out Hawaii.
     
  20. lord_of_flood

    lord_of_flood
    Member

    About time. If what Lee is saying is true, I'm really interested in seeing how quickly this type of legislation starts popping up in other states.

    I imagine the first two bills are going to make a real mess with the ESRB though.
     
  21. Thrill_house

    Thrill_house
    Member

    Too many suckers. Loot boxes are here to stay no matter what unfortunately.
     
  22. saenima

    saenima
    Member

    'If a game has loot boxes, they cannot be bought either with real money or currency bought with real money.'
    'If you can buy currency within a game with real money, the game cannot have loot boxes bought with said currency.'

    Make laws that observe these kind of principles, leaving as little wiggle room as possible, and it should work. Companies will obviously look for ways to game it but if well thought out and worded correctly, they won't be able to do much.

    On a side note, i suck at writing laws.
     
  23. Primus

    Primus
    Member

    I would not expect any of these bills to get passed this year. The Hawaii state House and Senate are meat grinders, bills usually take multiple sessions to gain any sort of traction, especially ones from junior elected officials.
     
  24. Kaako

    Kaako
    Member

    Hawaii leading the way. Good on them for taking the initiative at least.
     
  25. This I absolutely agree with and if companies are doing it and I am sure some are then fuck them. The only possible problem I could see is how it's implemented. If for say in OW they only have to show the rates of if you get a common, blue, legendary or whatever the rarities are they could still put individual rates on specific subsets of those rarities. So that D.VA skin is .05% but that Tracer skin is 2% etc. So if we do get rates they need to make sure we are getting individual rates not just rarity rates.
     
  26. MikeNeko

    MikeNeko
    Member

    Well done, i hope we get the same thing over here, despite pressure that is increasing since the practice starts bringing billions.
    I hope we get a big sticker "Gambling has risks of addiction, which can lead to personal bankruptcy. If you feel you are loosing control, please seek professional help or call the toll free line xxxxxx" (we have that kind of notice below each gambling/poker etc ads here), or the same thing written in bold with letters as big as the game title for digital storefronts.
     
  27. Weltall Zero

    Weltall Zero
    Member

    In before corporate apologism / "but how will those poor publishers make any money" / government fear mongering / slippery slope arguments.
     
  28. Lagamorph

    Lagamorph
    Member

    The way that is written seems like it could be completely circumvented through virtual currency.
    The law seems to specifically state lootboxes purchased directly with real money. By making lootboxes only purchaseable with virtual currency that is bought with real money you're breaking the directness and so not breaking the law.

    Didn't Activision Blizzard do something like that with Overwatch in China to circumvent new laws around lootboxes?
     
  29. ArkhamFantasy

    ArkhamFantasy
    Member

    Dont forget trading cards, free skins!, and mockingly saying "think of the children!" to people who show concern about children buying lootboxes.
     
  30. Lost

    Lost
    Member

    Awesome.

    Hope this prevents the loop hole of:

    Buying in-game currency to buy loot boxes
     
  31. stumblebee

    stumblebee
    Member

    fuckin thanks ea
     
  32. Palculator

    Palculator
    Member

    Publicly disclosed probabilities seem like a good idea, but how would they be enforced? Assume an item is listed as being a 50% drop, but after a while enough samples have accumulated publicly to be reasonably certain it's not 50%, would the developer's code and random number generators be audited for potential biases? I'm not seeing details on that in the proposals.

    More realistically, if it came to something like this, it would be settled out of court with no audits or anything, I'm aware, but it's an interesting problem to think about.
     
  33. mdubs

    mdubs
    Member

    The market has spoken, and lootboxes will continue to do well even with this type of restriction
     
  34. TangoAlphaLima

    TangoAlphaLima
    Member OP

    To some extent, it's practically an honor system. It's the same with those nutritional "facts" on the side of grocery items. They're supposed to be somewhat accurate, but they can be pretty far off. It's potentially easier with video games, if the Attorney General can actually subpoena the code used to compare against what is displayed.
     
  35. Palculator

    Palculator
    Member

    Nutritional facts is a great comparison — you're right about that. However, for nutritional facts it'd be easy enough for an investigator to sample some products and determine their own values to compare. For software you run into the problem of probably not having code access without, like you said, a subpoena or even warrant. Since it's specifically about randomness, just giving it a few goes in a blackbox scenario wouldn't be enough, either.

    Oh well~ They're still steps in the right direction. Just made me think of an interesting issue it might, but probably won't, lead to.
     
  36. ResetGreyWolf

    ResetGreyWolf
    Member

    No way, lol. America is a bit messed up when it comes to liberty but that can't be right. No way ESRB has that kind of power.
     
  37. Palculator

    Palculator
    Member

    Yeah, it would be considered a violation of the First Amendment to make them legally binding. Maybe the issue being quasi-gambling and not the tastefulness of subject matter would change that, but then we aren't really talking about "Teen" or "Mature" ratings anymore.
     
  38. Audioboxer

    Audioboxer
    Banned Member

    Hah, going after the shitty practice of opening the floodgates after the reviews are done.
     
  39. RexNovis

    RexNovis
    Member

    This is amazing. I would never have thought this would be moving so quickly. Here's hoping other states start following suit so the industry is actually forced to address the situation
     
  40. Richter1887

    Richter1887
    Member

    Good, hopefully other countries do the same.
     
  41. tomofthepops

    tomofthepops
    Member

    So you want to regulate them like trading cards (chance rates etc) but you don't have to be 21 to buy trading cards ?
     
  42. "One pair of bills, House Bill 2686 and Senate Bill 3024, would prohibit the sale of any game featuring a system wherein players can purchase a randomized reward using real money to anyone younger than 21 years old.

    The other two bills, House Bill 2727 and Senate Bill 3025, would require video game publishers to prominently label games containing such randomized purchase systems, as well as disclose the probability rates of receiving each loot box reward."

    Very good, a disney game that kids can't play? ho ho ho ho
    And now the parents know what they are buying too.
     
  43. awesome
     
  44. Mr. Nice_Guy

    Mr. Nice_Guy
    Member

    A good first step.

    This especially.
     
  45. AtomicShroom

    AtomicShroom
    Member

    Good! Now spread this across the entire fucking world.

    Oh and #fuckEA
     
  46. My sister tried to bought some games for my when she was on US. She had to ask the Guide for help, only with his id that it was possible to buy.
     
  47. Ricerocket

    Ricerocket
    Member

    Good luck. I don't think it'll work? Prohibiting sales below 21, either games are bought from parents or gifts or from the internet where you simply confirm a DoB, there is no way they can stop this. And as for releasing loot box probabilities, it would be cool to see and it's obvious they are sub 1% for highest tier based on what's already available. Whales will still be whales and buy them.
     
  48. KojiKnight

    KojiKnight
    Member

    No they aren't. The supreme court took up this case a few years ago. Just like you don't legally have to have an ID to buy a rated R movie, you don't need an ID to buy an M rated game (retailers CAN ask for it because they have the right to refuse sales, but they can not legally require it)
     
  49. Fiel

    Fiel
    Member

    Nice.

    By the way, it should be address more carefully in term of wording to avoid taking advantage of loophole like Blizzard in China.

    It is baby step. at least some shop don't store 21+ rating items.
     
  50. Arthoneceron

    Arthoneceron
    Member

    Being a gamer and a libertarian, would I want more state and regulations in my game? I don't know if my answer is "yes" or "no".

    Well, congratulations to EA for fucking up the things so much. If wasn't their greed, people would not complain so much and a state representative woudn't actually hear their complains and took a legal action on it.

    Maybe in the future, the GTA Online business model would be interest again.