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(Engadget)   Everyone is sick of EA's micro-transaction shiat, including Belgium who has classified loot boxes as gambling and Chris Lee (D-HI) who denounces them as "predatory behavior"   ( engadget.com) divider line
    More: Followup, Star Wars Battlefront, publication VTM Nieuws, detrimental affect micro-transactions, loot boxes, Casino, purchasable add-on boxes, Justice Koen Geens, Star Wars-themed online  
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1436 clicks; posted to Geek » on 22 Nov 2017 at 12:20 PM (33 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-11-22 11:58:24 AM  
Oh, no! Not Belgium
 
2017-11-22 12:15:03 PM  
They should let people pay 5 dollars a month.
 
2017-11-22 12:25:15 PM  
They are gambling. Unless you're offered a way to just buy the item you want, putting it behind rng is gambling.

Fark you every company that does this.

/love gambling
//but just want to play the damn games in the most fun way
 
2017-11-22 12:25:29 PM  

Tr0mBoNe: Oh, no! Not B*lgi*m


Hey, enough with the swearing!
 
2017-11-22 12:26:56 PM  
Who outside of a few wussy libs in America gives two shiats about predatory behavior?  Do these bozos forget that predators are at the top of the food chain, and who isn't on the top is getting eaten?  Sad!
 
2017-11-22 12:33:26 PM  

006andahalf: Who outside of a few wussy libs in America gives two shiats about predatory behavior?


Clearly Belgium does.
 
2017-11-22 12:39:58 PM  

This text is now purple: 006andahalf: Who outside of a few wussy libs in America gives two shiats about predatory behavior?

Clearly Belgium does.


And Kenya as well.
 
2017-11-22 12:43:41 PM  

Tr0mBoNe: Oh, no! Not Belgium


Dude, this is the kind of thing that tends to get extended to the whole European Union. That's a very big farking deal
 
2017-11-22 12:44:15 PM  
Lee is proposing legislation for Hawaii that would prohibit the sale of games containing loot boxes to minors.

This would be very tricky, constitutionally, considering Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass'n .
 
2017-11-22 12:47:29 PM  
oh Belgium, the highway to France
 
2017-11-22 12:49:09 PM  

Plant Rights Activist: oh Belgium, the highway to France


If the potholes don't kill you first.
 
2017-11-22 12:50:43 PM  
meh on the new games. I loaded up warcraft 2 with dosbox this morning and decided I wanted to play through it again.
 
2017-11-22 12:52:50 PM  

Plant Rights Activist: oh Belgium, the highway to France


Belgian beer, Belgian waffles, belgian fries, belgian-style mussels...I think we need to bring Belgium some freedom so we can hoard all of that for ourselves.
 
2017-11-22 12:55:53 PM  

padraig: Tr0mBoNe: Oh, no! Not Belgium

Dude, this is the kind of thing that tends to get extended to the whole European Union. That's a very big farking deal


And when an entire constellation of countries does it, it sometimes bleeds over into the US of A.

/I be the execs at EA are exlcaiming "ZARKING BELGIUM!"
 
2017-11-22 12:56:22 PM  
None of this would have been a big deal if the game made it easier/cheaper to buy the crates through gameplay. You get a paltry amount of credits for single player playing (And on top of that, it's farking capped).  Multiplayer gives a bit more credits, but still not enough. Considering the gameplay advantages of some of the cards, it should not be that burdensome to acquire them in order to level the playing field in matches.

I've been pissed enough at fighting games putting characters behind paywalls, but at least they're not randomized. Also, the game is actually balanced so you don't need them to win.
 
2017-11-22 12:56:23 PM  
Nerds and their money will find another vaporware way to part ways
 
2017-11-22 12:56:45 PM  

padraig: Tr0mBoNe: Oh, no! Not Belgium

Dude, this is the kind of thing that tends to get extended to the whole European Union. That's a very big farking deal


And then some lawyer in America uses it as a precedent in a lawsuit.
 
2017-11-22 12:57:44 PM  

Gubbo: They are gambling. Unless you're offered a way to just buy the item you want, putting it behind rng is gambling.

Fark you every company that does this.

/love gambling
//but just want to play the damn games in the most fun way


What if they're just hats?
 
2017-11-22 01:01:15 PM  
Remember, kids, random rewards are okay, and microtransactions are okay, but when you combine the two you've just invented the slot machine.
 
2017-11-22 01:01:17 PM  

Geotpf: Lee is proposing legislation for Hawaii that would prohibit the sale of games containing loot boxes to minors.

This would be very tricky, constitutionally, considering Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass'n .


Except you know that was free speech and gambling isn't free speech and has been either banned or allowed to exist under regulation.
 
2017-11-22 01:02:47 PM  

NeoCortex42: None of this would have been a big deal if the game made it easier/cheaper to buy the crates through gameplay. You get a paltry amount of credits for single player playing (And on top of that, it's farking capped).  Multiplayer gives a bit more credits, but still not enough. Considering the gameplay advantages of some of the cards, it should not be that burdensome to acquire them in order to level the playing field in matches.

I've been pissed enough at fighting games putting characters behind paywalls, but at least they're not randomized. Also, the game is actually balanced so you don't need them to win.


Yeah EA really farked the whole industry here with their blantant greed.

Overwatch has been minting loot boxes for a year and a half and no one was seriously complaining about them. They were generous, untradeable, and contained no gameplay elements, only cosmetics. The player's perception of them were radically different. You got the whole "game" at purchase and then either accrued bling through playing or bought a bunch of random bling when the desire hit you.

Not that I *like* OW's loot boxes. I think everyone would prefer a pure credits -> Loot buy system. But the rate of gain was high enough and the stakes low enough that nobody thought it was predatory.

And right now the top selling PC game for literal months, the most played PC game in the world, has loot boxes that are tradeable for real money. (PUBG)

The cat's out of the bag. Why the hammer didn't come down on predatory mobile games first is beyond me. They invented this shiatshow.
 
2017-11-22 01:03:30 PM  
Of course it is gambling but I would go further to question if it is truly randomized.
 
2017-11-22 01:05:16 PM  

Random Anonymous Blackmail: Of course it is gambling but I would go further to question if it is truly randomized.


China has some new laws that force the publisher to disclose the loot rates in order to sell games there.

Not that we have assurances any of it is true, of course.
 
2017-11-22 01:05:46 PM  
Paid-Premium... unfortunately there's no neat portmanteau like Freemium.
 
2017-11-22 01:07:44 PM  

Esc7: Random Anonymous Blackmail: Of course it is gambling but I would go further to question if it is truly randomized.

China has some new laws that force the publisher to disclose the loot rates in order to sell games there.

Not that we have assurances any of it is true, of course.


I know you can analyze the public history of every single online poker game on certain websites. The randomness can be inspected by checking results. Is there a website that tracks all loot crate results? Or is the system so poorly implemented that there's no way for a 3rd party to observe the randomness?
 
2017-11-22 01:10:21 PM  
Damn, they got Dracula and Saruman angry at them from beyond the grave?

*Frantic whispering in left ear*

Oh! Chris Lee, not Christopher Lee. Got it.
 
2017-11-22 01:11:14 PM  

Tr0mBoNe: Esc7: Random Anonymous Blackmail: Of course it is gambling but I would go further to question if it is truly randomized.

China has some new laws that force the publisher to disclose the loot rates in order to sell games there.

Not that we have assurances any of it is true, of course.

I know you can analyze the public history of every single online poker game on certain websites. The randomness can be inspected by checking results. Is there a website that tracks all loot crate results? Or is the system so poorly implemented that there's no way for a 3rd party to observe the randomness?


I would suspect that's a feature, not a bug.
 
2017-11-22 01:12:50 PM  

Imaginativescreenname: Tr0mBoNe: Oh, no! Not B*lgi*m

Hey, enough with the swearing!


Bunch of foontling turlingdromes.

Seriously though, this kind of thing is part of why I don't bother with new AAA games anymore. With the forlorn cries of 'single player is dead', day one DLC, microtransactions (I want to buy an actual game, not a mobile platform timewaster), DRM and so on, I just don't see the point.

In most cases, I can wait a year for a Steam sale (or GOG, or Humble), and save massively. Or I can wait two or three years, save even MORE massively, and get all the DLC included.

Since I don't care about multiplayer, this is the most economic way to buy games for me.

The other thing I do is play indie games, early access usually. Yes, there's always the risk that the developer could close up shop, but I do my research, and if $10 for an early access game gets me $10 worth of entertainment, then I consider it worth it.
 
2017-11-22 01:14:06 PM  

Esc7: NeoCortex42: None of this would have been a big deal if the game made it easier/cheaper to buy the crates through gameplay. You get a paltry amount of credits for single player playing (And on top of that, it's farking capped).  Multiplayer gives a bit more credits, but still not enough. Considering the gameplay advantages of some of the cards, it should not be that burdensome to acquire them in order to level the playing field in matches.

I've been pissed enough at fighting games putting characters behind paywalls, but at least they're not randomized. Also, the game is actually balanced so you don't need them to win.

Yeah EA really farked the whole industry here with their blantant greed.

Overwatch has been minting loot boxes for a year and a half and no one was seriously complaining about them. They were generous, untradeable, and contained no gameplay elements, only cosmetics. The player's perception of them were radically different. You got the whole "game" at purchase and then either accrued bling through playing or bought a bunch of random bling when the desire hit you.

Not that I *like* OW's loot boxes. I think everyone would prefer a pure credits -> Loot buy system. But the rate of gain was high enough and the stakes low enough that nobody thought it was predatory.

And right now the top selling PC game for literal months, the most played PC game in the world, has loot boxes that are tradeable for real money. (PUBG)

The cat's out of the bag. Why the hammer didn't come down on predatory mobile games first is beyond me. They invented this shiatshow.


I have 9 pairs of g.d. blue combat pants, and 6 red t- shirts. Would it kill the "random" number generator to drop me a fancy black dress shirt?
 
2017-11-22 01:15:18 PM  

Wraithstrike: Damn, they got Dracula and Saruman angry at them from beyond the grave?

*Frantic whispering in left ear*

Oh! Chris Lee, not Christopher Lee. Got it.


*Frantic whispering in right ear*

What does Dracula have to do with Belgium?
 
2017-11-22 01:16:57 PM  

Gubbo: Tr0mBoNe: Esc7: Random Anonymous Blackmail: Of course it is gambling but I would go further to question if it is truly randomized.

China has some new laws that force the publisher to disclose the loot rates in order to sell games there.

Not that we have assurances any of it is true, of course.

I know you can analyze the public history of every single online poker game on certain websites. The randomness can be inspected by checking results. Is there a website that tracks all loot crate results? Or is the system so poorly implemented that there's no way for a 3rd party to observe the randomness?

I would suspect that's a feature, not a bug.


Indeed. Poker only allowed that because people didn't (couldn't) trust the randomness of online poker. It's a valid concern, seeing people put money into it.

I also don't blame Belgium... governments always try to control all the vices so they can tax them.
 
2017-11-22 01:25:33 PM  

Tr0mBoNe: Indeed. Poker only allowed that because people didn't (couldn't) trust the randomness of online poker. It's a valid concern, seeing people put money into it.

I also don't blame Belgium... governments always try to control all the vices so they can tax them.


Given that Belgium allows online poker, and the US doesn't (on a Federal level), maybe you don't want to make that argument as it really really doesn't help EA's case.
 
2017-11-22 01:30:59 PM  

Intrepid00: Geotpf: Lee is proposing legislation for Hawaii that would prohibit the sale of games containing loot boxes to minors.

This would be very tricky, constitutionally, considering Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass'n .

Except you know that was free speech and gambling isn't free speech and has been either banned or allowed to exist under regulation.


The hardest part is that baseball cards (and later MTG, but its a toss up as to which the judge would be more familiar with) is the nearest analogue, and breaks down as you can sell physical cards (obviously the company would "ban" such things if the law required it, but such acts would be moot) but selling lootbox loot likely requires selling your whole console (or at least Sony/MS account).

While it is pretty obviously gambling, I'd really wonder where you can draw a line in the sand that a judge will accept (no idea how the law works in Belgium).
 
2017-11-22 01:33:33 PM  
Chris Lee?

Christopher Lee: 'The Bloody Verdict of Verden' Music Video
Youtube cvKRbi2ovDY
 
2017-11-22 01:39:21 PM  
So...having pretty much quit video games and never really into EA to start... Can someone say what's the difference between the paid loot boxes in borderlands (a game I've actually played) and EA games? Or the paid battle chests in mobile RPGs?  Cuz I've seen what they charge and the shiatty spawn rates they have you might as well play the lotto than try to get a 6 star character in those games...
 
2017-11-22 01:41:16 PM  
How?  How in the world is this even worthy of mention, much less debate?  It's a game.  Don't like the game?  Don't play the game.  Spend time on things that matter, like homelessness, hunger, human rights, etc.
 
2017-11-22 01:42:51 PM  
EA And Battlefront II Really Fucked This Up (The Jimquisition)
Youtube 28K6GkkaTik


Australia is getting in on it, also, apparently.
 
2017-11-22 01:46:30 PM  

Geotpf: Lee is proposing legislation for Hawaii that would prohibit the sale of games containing loot boxes to minors.

This would be very tricky, constitutionally, considering Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass'n .


This Brown character really gets around, first suing the Board of Education, now this.  Where will it end?
 
2017-11-22 01:47:43 PM  

yet_another_wumpus: Intrepid00: Geotpf: Lee is proposing legislation for Hawaii that would prohibit the sale of games containing loot boxes to minors.

This would be very tricky, constitutionally, considering Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass'n .

Except you know that was free speech and gambling isn't free speech and has been either banned or allowed to exist under regulation.

The hardest part is that baseball cards (and later MTG, but its a toss up as to which the judge would be more familiar with) is the nearest analogue, and breaks down as you can sell physical cards (obviously the company would "ban" such things if the law required it, but such acts would be moot) but selling lootbox loot likely requires selling your whole console (or at least Sony/MS account).

While it is pretty obviously gambling, I'd really wonder where you can draw a line in the sand that a judge will accept (no idea how the law works in Belgium).


They will do what Pennsylvania does. Small games of chance with certain odds and cost or your gambling and restrictions on age.
 
2017-11-22 01:50:18 PM  

grumpyguru: So...having pretty much quit video games and never really into EA to start... Can someone say what's the difference between the paid loot boxes in borderlands (a game I've actually played) and EA games? Or the paid battle chests in mobile RPGs?  Cuz I've seen what they charge and the shiatty spawn rates they have you might as well play the lotto than try to get a 6 star character in those games...


Difference is that the mobile RPG games tend to be free.  Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes costs nothing to play, and most of the characters are obtainable (even if some will take a while) without having to pay anything.  Battlefront 2 was a AAA title in which you paid full price to play it...only to find out a shiat load of content was locked or unobtainable.  And unlike mobile games where you can play it for all of 10-15 minutes at a go at any time by taking out your phone, your play time is limited by being in front of your console or desktop, period.

Not that I LIKE lootboxes in any form, but there is a key difference between a freemium game having them as their only revenue stream vs. a full-price title having them.
 
2017-11-22 01:55:04 PM  

grumpyguru: So...having pretty much quit video games and never really into EA to start... Can someone say what's the difference between the paid loot boxes in borderlands (a game I've actually played) and EA games? Or the paid battle chests in mobile RPGs?  Cuz I've seen what they charge and the shiatty spawn rates they have you might as well play the lotto than try to get a 6 star character in those games...


Simply EA did what everyone else did before, but tuned the thumbscrews so tight and so publicly people complained enough for governments to notice.

The nuts thing is that most videogame players will put up with an amount of randomized bonus content that you can pay for. They've already accepted it from a bunch of other games. EA was so blatantly greedy it set *them* off.
 
2017-11-22 01:57:01 PM  

grumpyguru: So...having pretty much quit video games and never really into EA to start... Can someone say what's the difference between the paid loot boxes in borderlands (a game I've actually played) and EA games? Or the paid battle chests in mobile RPGs?  Cuz I've seen what they charge and the shiatty spawn rates they have you might as well play the lotto than try to get a 6 star character in those games...


A combination of prominence (this is one of the biggest titles of the year) and bad timing after Shadow of War and others had people recently pissed off.

Then throw in terrible PR from EA (such as the point where they said that they had to limit single player points because if they were exploited, ie people got items faster than others, it would harm game balance) and voila.
 
2017-11-22 01:58:48 PM  
Wait until they see what some tablet games are doing. Buy gold to gamble on chests to get weapons for your robots, or buy the robot for about £80...
 
2017-11-22 01:59:37 PM  

grumpyguru: So...having pretty much quit video games and never really into EA to start... Can someone say what's the difference between the paid loot boxes in borderlands (a game I've actually played) and EA games? Or the paid battle chests in mobile RPGs?  Cuz I've seen what they charge and the shiatty spawn rates they have you might as well play the lotto than try to get a 6 star character in those games...


It's pretty bog-standard P2W stuff, as in everything is technically free in-game but you can get it faster if you pay. In a way they aren't even as bad as the strongest abilities can't be pulled from the boxes, but who needs the strongest stuff when a whale can just stack a shiatload of abilities right off the bat?

Anyway I don't really know why this game suddenly set everyone off when what they're doing isn't really any different from anyone else. I suppose it's EA's sheer unapologetic ballsiness in doing it and the fact that everyone knows Star Wars.
 
2017-11-22 01:59:46 PM  

doomjesse: How?  How in the world is this even worthy of mention, much less debate?  It's a game.  Don't like the game?  Don't play the game.  Spend time on things that matter, like homelessness, hunger, human rights, etc.


governments can do more than one thing at a time, film at 11
 
2017-11-22 02:00:13 PM  

grumpyguru: So...having pretty much quit video games and never really into EA to start... Can someone say what's the difference between the paid loot boxes in borderlands (a game I've actually played) and EA games? Or the paid battle chests in mobile RPGs?  Cuz I've seen what they charge and the shiatty spawn rates they have you might as well play the lotto than try to get a 6 star character in those games...


Ah, came here to mention tablet games and the blatant overpriced gambling tactics they employ myself.
 
2017-11-22 02:01:45 PM  

Wicked Chinchilla: there is a key difference between a freemium game having them as their only revenue stream vs. a full-price title having them.


There is but it does not change that the mechanic they use is gambling at it's core and as such should have age restrictions and all the other restrictions currently applied to gambling.
 
2017-11-22 02:06:38 PM  
A politician discussing predatory behavior?  Do they really want to tempt the PhDs to release studies on the social manipulations used by politicians every single day?
 
2017-11-22 02:14:39 PM  

Geotpf: Lee is proposing legislation for Hawaii that would prohibit the sale of games containing loot boxes to minors.

This would be very tricky, constitutionally, considering Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass'n .


But gambling is already prohibited to minors. Calling gambling free speech doesn't mean a 12 year old can walk down to the 7-11 and buy a Powerball ticket.
 
2017-11-22 02:20:24 PM  

Esc7: NeoCortex42: None of this would have been a big deal if the game made it easier/cheaper to buy the crates through gameplay. You get a paltry amount of credits for single player playing (And on top of that, it's farking capped).  Multiplayer gives a bit more credits, but still not enough. Considering the gameplay advantages of some of the cards, it should not be that burdensome to acquire them in order to level the playing field in matches.

I've been pissed enough at fighting games putting characters behind paywalls, but at least they're not randomized. Also, the game is actually balanced so you don't need them to win.

Yeah EA really farked the whole industry here with their blantant greed.

Overwatch has been minting loot boxes for a year and a half and no one was seriously complaining about them. They were generous, untradeable, and contained no gameplay elements, only cosmetics. The player's perception of them were radically different. You got the whole "game" at purchase and then either accrued bling through playing or bought a bunch of random bling when the desire hit you.

Not that I *like* OW's loot boxes. I think everyone would prefer a pure credits -> Loot buy system. But the rate of gain was high enough and the stakes low enough that nobody thought it was predatory.

And right now the top selling PC game for literal months, the most played PC game in the world, has loot boxes that are tradeable for real money. (PUBG)

The cat's out of the bag. Why the hammer didn't come down on predatory mobile games first is beyond me. They invented this shiatshow.


Counter Strike and TF2 have been doing it for nearly 10 years, it's part of the reason it's FREE. And everything is cosmetic. It has no bearing on the game play.
 
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