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How the legal battle around loot boxes will change video games forever

AviTrekAviTrek ✭✭✭✭✭
https://theverge.com/2017/12/19/16783136/loot-boxes-video-games-gambling-legal

It's looking more and more like all the portals in STT will be regulated as gambling. The packs already being sold for straight currency doesn't even have the defense of no money being involved(which legal experts say is not a defense to begin with).

Will STT adapt? When you remove the digital slot machine from the game, is there anything left?

Comments

  • I disagree at the packs point. Those are not gambling as long as it comes in the form of "Buy this character and get x packs". Those x packs cand be considered a bonus from the seller. When you buy the packs alone, that's gambling.
  • [BL] Q [BL] Q ✭✭✭✭✭
    https://forum.disruptorbeam.com/stt/discussion/1813/is-this-the-end-of-loot-boxes-in-usa-europe#latest

    There's a few strong opinions for and against on this thread I'll add more to it as latest news progresses. It's industry wide you can't fault DB for following in the footsteps of other game studios regarding lootboxes
  • Be careful what you wish for. If there is no loot boxes, I don't think anyone will be happy with DB's valuation of crew.
  • DScottHewittDScottHewitt ✭✭✭✭✭
    If only we did not live in Belgium or care what Belgians told us to do, or how to do it.


    Keep calm & October 15th!!!!!
  • If only we did not live in Belgium or care what Belgians told us to do, or how to do it.

    If only all articles were only one paragraph long...
  • DScottHewittDScottHewitt ✭✭✭✭✭
    Tygra Dax wrote: »
    If only we did not live in Belgium or care what Belgians told us to do, or how to do it.

    If only all articles were only one paragraph long...

    If only people did not freak out about stuff happening in Europe.
    Keep calm & October 15th!!!!!
  • WaldoMagWaldoMag ✭✭✭✭✭
    WOLF 359 wrote: »
    Be careful what you wish for. If there is no loot boxes, I don't think anyone will be happy with DB's valuation of crew.

    I would just have to be happy with the ones they pretty much give us for free.
    DABO, voyages, event rewards, pack pulls, gauntlet
    They do give us a lot of opportunities.
    Not to say the crew rain down on us if we do not spend money.
  • DScottHewittDScottHewitt ✭✭✭✭✭
    WaldoMag wrote: »
    WOLF 359 wrote: »
    Be careful what you wish for. If there is no loot boxes, I don't think anyone will be happy with DB's valuation of crew.

    I would just have to be happy with the ones they pretty much give us for free.
    DABO, voyages, event rewards, pack pulls, gauntlet
    They do give us a lot of opportunities.
    Not to say the crew rain down on us if we do not spend money.

    But, that is all "gambling"......


    Scott

    Keep calm & October 15th!!!!!
  • Jim SteeleJim Steele ✭✭✭✭✭
    Governments are slow to react to all forms of digital entertainment, I do agree with the points that loot-boxes are in effect gambling, not for money but for digital entertainment.

    I have made my peace with that, I don't mind spending a little on the occasional pack providing I get something out of them.

    I have stopped buying the card offers as I have no free space for them and honor rates are too low for SRs that I would just send straight out the airlock.

    I took the double offer for Data and Picard instead of getting the $25 or $50 dollar pack offers, but at least with those I knew what I was getting.

    Jim
    DB: Do Better
  • Captain_WhoCaptain_Who ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2017
    Well, according to this statement:

    "“Value doesn’t mean necessarily mean you like it and you want it. Value means it ‘has value.’” said Whipple. “If you can sell it to somebody, if you can transfer it to somebody...and exchange for some consideration, some payment, I would argue under that most gambling statutes that it is almost certainly something of value.""

    nothing in STT has any value, and can't win the gambling argument in court.


    Since you can't sell, exchange, transfer, or barter the pixels, and since nothing is ever transferred from DB or made unavailable by providing the subject (card) to the customer, there's nothing to gamble over.
    In many ways, this case has already been fought and lost in the United States, and the work around has been to distance the loot crates from dollars by selling premium currency.
    Premium currency (Dilithium) has the two fold affect of shielding the company from legal affects by not using legal tender. And shielding the customer from an understanding of his spending and amplifying addictive behavior by breaking the 1:1 link to his credit card, which has already broken his 1:1 link with his money.

    No substantial progress is ever going to be made in the legal system(s) because this is an ethical problem, and you can't legislate morality. At best, you're going to play whack-a-mole with clinical psychopaths (what most CEOs (and politicians) actually are) who find new ways to do what they believe is their right, and exploit people.
    The only answer is to put the moral back in capitalism, and to educate the consumer. Exposure to the consequences at an earlier age, when people are still a protected class (young children) who are denied the ability to do themselves permanent harm, and a proper understanding of finances and economies will arm people to make wiser decisions.
    Only then when companies can't profit from exploiting people in the old ways will they strive to find new, and hopefully less destructive ways, of generating revenue.
  • Commander MorakCommander Morak ✭✭✭
    edited December 2017
    The real question becomes, "what companies continue to do business in Belgium?"

    *edit* In other words, will enough countries enact regulations that changing the business model is more important than excluding markets. STT premium content might not be available for purchase in Hawaii
  • Captain_WhoCaptain_Who ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2017
    The real question becomes, "what companies continue to do business in Belgium?"

    *edit* In other words, will enough countries enact regulations that changing the business model is more important than excluding markets. STT premium content might not be available for purchase in Hawaii

    Any Hawaii law will never pass. It's just some local yocal trying to get some name recognition by shouting what he sees as a momentary popular battle cry. Politicians lie and mislead like that all the time.
    There's no way any state is going to risk pissing off the iphone voters by messing with their in game purcahses. This is absolutely something that would have to be pushed down from a central government level.
    Not to mention tourism and location tracking. How are you going to disable IAP from tourists, you're only meaningful source of revenue, and prevent visitors who traveled into the state from online purchases?
  • The real question becomes, "what companies continue to do business in Belgium?"

    *edit* In other words, will enough countries enact regulations that changing the business model is more important than excluding markets. STT premium content might not be available for purchase in Hawaii

    Any Hawaii law will never pass. It's just some local yocal trying to get some name recognition by shouting what he sees as a momentary popular battle cry. Politicians lie and mislead like that all the time.
    There's no way any state is going to risk pissing off the iphone voters by messing with their in game purcahses. This is absolutely something that would have to be pushed down from a central government level.
    Not to mention tourism and location tracking. How are you going to disable IAP from tourists, you're only meaningful source of revenue, and prevent visitors who traveled into the state from online purchases?

    I'm just curious if you're aware just how closely tracked Google transactions are. SW:GoH is currently running a promo which demonstrates Play tracks not only which country but which retailer a gift card originates.

    https://forums.galaxy-of-heroes.starwars.ea.com/discussion/136739/google-gift-card-promotion

    Credit cards have a billing zip code. Your Google account has an associated country.

    Think the Timelines Christmas deals may differ by country?

    Excluding countries from premium content wouldn't take much effort.

    And in regards to state by state regulations, you have heard of online sports betting right? Just because the logistics of enforcing regulations are unfeasible doesn't stop them from trying. If anything they are a tool to allow the state to sue the companies in question.
  • DScottHewittDScottHewitt ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well, according to this statement:

    "“Value doesn’t mean necessarily mean you like it and you want it. Value means it ‘has value.’” said Whipple. “If you can sell it to somebody, if you can transfer it to somebody...and exchange for some consideration, some payment, I would argue under that most gambling statutes that it is almost certainly something of value.""

    nothing in STT has any value, and can't win the gambling argument in court.


    Since you can't sell, exchange, transfer, or barter the pixels, and since nothing is ever transferred from DB or made unavailable by providing the subject (card) to the customer, there's nothing to gamble over.
    In many ways, this case has already been fought and lost in the United States, and the work around has been to distance the loot crates from dollars by selling premium currency.
    Premium currency (Dilithium) has the two fold affect of shielding the company from legal affects by not using legal tender. And shielding the customer from an understanding of his spending and amplifying addictive behavior by breaking the 1:1 link to his credit card, which has already broken his 1:1 link with his money.

    No substantial progress is ever going to be made in the legal system(s) because this is an ethical problem, and you can't legislate morality. At best, you're going to play whack-a-mole with clinical psychopaths (what most CEOs (and politicians) actually are) who find new ways to do what they believe is their right, and exploit people.
    The only answer is to put the moral back in capitalism, and to educate the consumer. Exposure to the consequences at an earlier age, when people are still a protected class (young children) who are denied the ability to do themselves permanent harm, and a proper understanding of finances and economies will arm people to make wiser decisions.
    Only then when companies can't profit from exploiting people in the old ways will they strive to find new, and hopefully less destructive ways, of generating revenue.

    Except the act of the Loot Boxes being bought with virtual currency that is bought with REAL currency MIGHT make it "gambling", since people are {in effect} exchanging money for a CHANCE to win something good......


    Scott


    Keep calm & October 15th!!!!!
  • Looks like Apple updated the App Store review guidelines recently to address this. Check out section 3.11.1

    "Apps offering “loot boxes” or other mechanisms that provide randomized virtual items for purchase must disclose the odds of receiving each type of item to customers prior to purchase"

    Wonder when this rule will make its way into the game.
  • Princess TristaPrincess Trista ✭✭✭✭✭
    So I was gambling as a five year old when I bought Pokemon packs???? lol

    Trista
  • You think that's murky? Wait until the Apple players are kicked out mid event while the Steam and Android players dominate the leaderboards if it gets pulled
  • That won't be murky, it'll be a firestorm
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