Developers must disclose loot box odds following update to App Store guidelines

Change to guidelines comes amidst ongoing debate as to whether loot boxes constitute gambling

By Haydn Taylor.Published Thursday 21st December 2017, 2:27pm GMT

Following an update to Apple's guidelines, all software sold through the App Store must now disclose the odds connected to loot boxes.

In Section 3.1.1 of the App Store Review Guidelines, Apple states the following: "Apps offering 'loot boxes' or other mechanisms that provide randomised virtual items for purchase must disclose the odds of receiving each type of item to customers prior to purchase."

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This change brings the App Store more in-line with laws in some Asian countries where loot boxes, known as gacha mechanics, must be presented with transparent odds.

There is currently no word as to what prompted the move - though the Star Wars Battlefront II debacle seems like the most obvious motivation - or if Apple will retroactively apply this rule to already published games.

While consumers have taken umbrage with loot boxes over recent months for a plethora of reasons, transparency has remained a persistent concern and one which Apple's move should address.

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The news comes amidst an ongoing furore as to whether loot boxes constitute gambling with everyone from the ESRB and PEGI, through to Hawaiian state representatives and the Belgian Gambling Commission, diving in and coming to wildly different conclusions.

Read article on GamesIndustry.biz