FTC opens a loot box investigation

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by Tappin, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. Ceffener Augur

    Given that you pay sales tax to purchase most forms of digital currency used to buy loot crates (in most states at least). Loot crates are already being taxed.
  2. NameAlreadyInUse Augur

    I think it is worth mentioning that the exact same is true about lottery tickets. Most lottery tickets, like most Cards, are worthless. But the winning scratch-off tickets can absolutely be bartered and sold.

    And bigger lottery winnings, which can be paid out as an annuity, are often bought up by 3rd parties:
    https://peachtreefinancial.com/our-solutions/lottery-winnings.aspx

    And as we see from the complaints on these very forums, 3rd party sales of virtual items are commonplace.

    If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...loot boxes = cards = lottery tickets = gambling.

    Personally, I'm still on the fence in regards to whether that matters (whether gambling should be illegal, regulated, or taxed), I just don't see any confusion about what it is. :confused:
  3. Ceffener Augur

    Third party sales can take place (“illegally”, on some games). Lots of cellphone games and other big money makers have no way to transfer items from one player to another. So it’s 100% gambling for digital pixels. I know Japan has already started regulating some of them as gambling.

    On the other hand I can easily and legally buy whatever magic the gathering deck I want with 0 probability associated with it. Though personally I think the way Fantasy Flights does their games is best. They removed all probability from the scenario and just give you 3 of each card from a set list per booster.

    I hate the loot box concept, it’s a lazy way to get more money, but at minimum make the items tradeable.
    NameAlreadyInUse likes this.
  4. Tappin Journeyman

    Loot boxes are equivalent to gambling (see research). If you want other things regulated, then so be it. The game industry as a whole has had plenty of time to self regulate and choose not to (the better option). The hammer has fallen in a few EU countries- just a matter of time before we see more
  5. Vizier Augur

    Look, let people waste their money on whatever the hell they want to waste it on. If it's not loot boxes it's whatever other discretionary income vampire is currently in fashion. Parent need to watch their kids and parent them however they want them parented. Sit down with the kid and the game and teach him moderation and common sense. Parents should not expect video game companies to make their games "safe for kids with inattentive parents".
  6. Buri Journeyman

    Remember, this is our gov't we're talking about.. I'm sure that once they secure funding, they'll appoint a committee to study the economic impact of such loot boxes... in a couple of years.
  7. Ceffener Augur

    Personally I could care less about making it safe for kids. Kids don’t have credit cards, if a kid racked up $10k on loot boxes that’s a parents failure, no one else.

    My problem is how it changes the entire game design philosophy (look at mobile games). Why spend millions of dollars on AAA storylines with hundreds of hours of content when you can just reskin a game and throw in some nostalgia behind loot boxes. When you a company makes millions/billions of dollars more off the loot box than the game, I can’t even blame them. I think a lot of it boils down to:

    1.) It’s our faults as gamers for rewarding companies for doing this. The second items were non cosmetic we should have said no, but we didn’t.
    2.) Game prices haven’t kept up with inflation and development cost. As much as gamers don’t want to hear this, AAA games need to be more expensive. Mario was $49.99 in 1984 with the fraction of a cost it takes to make a modern game. But slap an adjusted for inflation price tag of $100 on a non “collectors” edition of a game and the community would have a meltdown.
    3). The problem in 2 brings us back to 1. Customers are more willing to spend $2-5 here and there than stomach higher upfront cost in a game they are not invested in yet.
  8. BadPallyGuildLeader Augur

    Beyond posting "odds" like they do on lotto tickets I don't see a reason for gov't intervention or regulation. However, if the value of the highest prize was less than some threshold, then no taxation or claim on taxes would be necessary. But..just like when you hit big at a casino, some states and taxing authorities would want to get their piece. What loot boxes are up in that level of value though?

    For example if I put money in a slot machine in some states like Lousiana, and I will above 1500$ there has to be a tax collected and documented right there and then. Anything else less than that was paid out in cash and as we all know is "invisible" from the taxing entities.
  9. Tappin Journeyman

    It is not about taxes - its about not exposing minors or those with an addiction to gambling. The EU studying is d mning - the increased number of minors gambling correlates to loot boxes. Games with gambling in them should be rated adult only, and require more identification than a CC to purchase.
  10. xcitng Augur

    Hmmm, just noticed when i went to DB market to claim the monthly 500 DBC that they removed the LON prize items, etc, that you could claim instead of DBC and now only have xp pots to claim.
  11. Ceffener Augur

    We also don’t allow gambling with credit cards in the USA (not sure about EU). If loot boxes got regulated as gambling they would fundamentally have to change to just being cash shop items. Which I think is much better anyway.
  12. Tappin Journeyman

    Just put them back in the game as drops - that is how it use to be.
  13. Sokki Augur

    That sucks... I was looking for them last night and didn't see them in the marketplace. I was on Beta so I just assumed it was because I checked from there instead of on live. I was never a big fan of the random chance at an item I want, but there are still a few items from LoN that I want.

    Everyone saying the only way to get these items is to pay cash and "Gamble" seems to forget that you can get a free pack with 2 random items every month you subscribe. I've gotten quite a few rare/desired items from the free packs, hell you can even resell the items and get more krono for free game time and another pack.
  14. Natal Augur

    Seeing that professional baseball is only a "thing" in the US and one or two other countries, I doubt that many, if any, countries see the need to regulate baseball cards since no one there has the slightest interest in them.
  15. Natal Augur

    If you are stupid enough to give your kid unfettered access to your credit card you deserve what happens next, lol.
    Zamiam and Khat_Nip like this.
  16. Aurastrider Augur

    Random loot prizes are all over the place. Its not just digital loot boxes and card collections. Lots of toy companies sell random toy characters in bags. You have zero idea what character you are going to get and they have some that are common, uncommon and rare to get parents and kids to spend their money. I could argue that eating at Taco Bell is like gambling. One day you just get your bean burrito and the next you get the lucky surprise of E.coli and 6 hours on the can. At the end of the day let people spend their money how they wish. Put warnings on things if needed so people are informed who may otherwise be ignorant to the facts. We don't need a bunch of old guys in black robes telling us how to live every detail of our lives.
  17. Ceffener Augur

    Eating at Taco Bell is never a gamble. You know exactly how you’ll feel in the bathroom shortly after.
    Nennius and Aurastrider like this.
  18. Nennius Augur

    And you just might get to taste it again. Bean burritos to blow!
  19. AlmarsGuides Augur


    Thou shalt not make this purchase!
  20. svann Augur

    I just claimed a pack. Got a weapon and shield ornament.

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