The heart of tech

This article was published on December 21, 2017


App Store now requires games to share loot box odds

App Store now requires games to share loot box odds
Rachel Kaser
Story by

Rachel Kaser

Internet Culture Writer

Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

Apple recently changed its App Store review guidelines — now any game developer who wants to include loot boxes will also have to tell you how likely it is you’ll get the rare item you want.

The update, spotted by Polygon, includes a change to the payment section of the guidelines, which now state:

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.

In practice, this should function the same as Blizzard’s new rules of disclosure for Chinese Overwatch players. The company recently listed the odds of getting each kind of item in a loot box on its Chinese website, after Chinese gaming regulations forced the transparency.

It doesn’t actually say in the rules where the disclosure must be. I checked the app page for Hearthstone (the first game with “loot boxes” on iOS to come to mind) and couldn’t find anything explicitly stating the odds.

This change doesn’t really effect the way loot boxes themselves function, but it might skirt some kind of gambling regulation if the company tells you ahead of time how likely you are to get the prize you want.

h/t Kotaku