The ESRB, the American classification agency, decided on the loot boxes. To raise awareness, he will apply a new macaroon. Problem? It concerns all in-game purchases.
In the eyes of the ESRB, PEGI across the Atlantic, a loot box equals a DLC or Season Pass. His response to the controversy generated by these microtransactions, namely a macaroon, is at best clumsy. However, it started from a good intention, namely the desire to raise awareness about the existence of in-app purchases in a video game.
Except that by not differentiating anything, the ESRB is worse than better and may put doubt in the minds of the less sophisticated. Because a loot box, which some equate to gambling, has nothing to do with a Season Pass, grouping extensions. On the one hand, we do not know what we buy. On the other, yes.
An update on your game at ESRB: pic.twitter.com/pqmfJe0Ywz
– ESRB (@ESRBRatings) February 27, 2018
Because the fundamental problem hiding behind the boxes of loot is the randomness of the reward (s), being able to force the spirits the most spend or the most manipulables – like the children – to empty their bank account to obtain what 'they want. But how will parents make the difference between games that offer this type of microtransactions and those that do not if the majority of boxes sport the future macaroon? This is likely to happen with the description of the ESRB.
Indeed, the organization will apply its new initiative to all games "that offer the opportunity to buy objects and content with real money. This includes things like bonus levels, skins, surprise items (loot boxes), music, virtual coins and other virtual currency, subscriptions, Season Pass and more. " Translation: it will obviously be necessary to search in the depths of the rays to find the trace of a title not returning at all in these criteria in 2018.
In parallel, the ESRB is still launching a web portal to explain to parents how to better manage the expenses of their children. Above, he should go into more detail about what the loot boxes are, that he does not consider gambling or gambling – and therefore he did not want to formally condemn.
On the PEGI side, no action has yet been taken. Last October, spokesperson Dirk Bosmans explained: "It is not up to PEGI to decide whether something is considered a gambling game or not, but to national regulations on gambling". This being so, PEGI can not be imagined to not align with the ESRB.