New Chinese law will require games to list the odds on random loot boxes
How many Overwatch loot boxes have you opened hoping to get Vigilante McCree? (Or, I suppose, some other skin if you aren’t interested in this majestic McCree.) Somehow, when you’re trying to get a specific drop, the odds always seem to be against you. But a new law in China may force Blizzard to list those odds: starting on May 1, 2017, game developers will have to list the odds for getting different items from random chance items like loot boxes.
While the source material is in Chinese, NeoGAF user Chillybright translated the relevant parts:
2.6 …Online game publishers shall promptly publicly announce information about the name, property, content, quantity, and draw/forge probability of all virtual items and services that can be drawn/forge on the official website or a dedicated draw probability webpage of the game. The information on draw probability shall be true and effective.
2.7 Online game publishers shall publicly announce the random draw results by customers on notable places of official website or in game, and keep record for government inquiry. The record must be kept for more than 90 days. When publishing the random draw results, some measures should be taken place to protect user privacy.
Though it reads like regulation for online gambling, it seems to cover buyable items like Overwatch’s loot boxes as well. And, while this will only be a requirement in China, we’re sure to find out what those numbers are here, too — which will certainly make for interesting reading. At least you’ll be able to find out whether the skin you’re after is super rare, or you’re just unlucky.
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