Loot Boxes Questions

In the US a bill is being put forward to ban loot boxes and pay to win microtransactions. Kotaku posted an article that I will reference below.

My question is what impact if any will this have on Gems of War?

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I’m gonna say zero or next to zero impact. I honestly agree with the last bit of the industry lobbyist response:

“Parents already have the ability to limit or prohibit in-game purchases with easy to use parental controls.”

On the other hand, their claim that loot boxes do not constitute gambling is like suggesting that rain doesn’t constitute water. Its just up to us responsible adults to keep things from spiraling in a bad way.

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If it passes, it will affect this game. An argument against the regulation by a lobbyist, has nothing to do with what will happen if it passes. The lobbyist is making excuses for exploitation in the name of money.

What effect it will have depends on the letter of the law that gets passed; if it does pass.

They are “a gamble” in the colloquial sense that you don’t know what you’re going to get, but they are not “gambling” because the legal definition requires that you’re playing for something of value - since the in-game items don’t actually exist, they have no value.

Am I splitting hairs here? Sure. But splitting hairs is how the law works - and the law isn’t anywhere close to catching up with the state of modern gaming.

Chaos Orbs are loot boxes. Nothing else in the game is. (as far as I’m concerned)

Interesting that the US are pushing for this, but totally understandable considering the exposure to “gambling” that youngsters may be experiencing. Parents can only monitor to a certain degree, but pay to win is a pretty poor example to be setting impressionable youngsters. Those profiting from these types of micro transaction should similarly employ limits to spending by any single individual. Because the boxes such as gem purchases may be used to chase orbs on LBs, its a gamble because you have no idea who else is spending the same or more. The temptation to keep buying is irresponsible and should at the very least be capped at a certain level. Honest equal competition is healthy, buying your way through life is not. I will be interested to see how this pans out.

Every chest is literally a loot box.

Perhaps you’re right.
But those who compete on the leaderboards to get a loot box feels different than using in game currency like keys to get rewards.

Nobody under 30 plays this game, unless you count their kids :face_with_monocle:

We went through this like last year when the Apple Store guidelines changed such that if a game had Loot Crates the odds needed to be posted.

Player sentiment is “this is totally not loot crates, you buy keys to open the loot crates but technically you have an infinite number of loot crates you get for free if only you can open them.” I sort of think that’s a bullshit view but everyone in my memory told me I was being a pedant and to get out.

But Apple never swung a hammer that made them post the odds, so maybe Apple buys that argument too. My guess is GoW is going to do whatever they can to argue troop chests aren’t loot crates.

Besides, there’s no damn way this administration is going to let a gambling regulation pass unless this particular Senator happens to own a tract of land on which a hotel can be built.

There’s no real loot boxes in this game. Yes, all key draws and orbs of chaos are random, but no, you’re not paying cash for them. You can (and most of the times will) earn them ingame without real cash involved.

So they shouldn’t count as loot boxes.

The few cash only items are guaranteeds (avatar packs, dragon armor, weapon packs).

Show me a game where you agree there ARE loot boxes then show me how this game is any different. Every game that has them has the ability to earn them without paying real money.

I have never bought gems in this game, any money I’ve spent has been on things which I know beforehand what I’m getting. I’m sure a lot of people are like me. But there are 1000’s of people who pay real money for gems which they then use to open chests aka loot boxes. Small chance of getting what you want, large chance of getting nothing good.

Happy to weigh in here!

First off, this is a proposed bill, so it may not even be passed. Secondly, if it is passed, a lot of work will need to be done to regulate what is and is not considered a loot box.

In Gems of War you can purchase resources that allow you to open chests, so you are not directly purchasing chests. These resources can then be spent on a variety of things, from guild events to armour, and yes, on chests. However, you can also earn gems and in-game currency through play time, so it is not a currency that only purchasable with real money. In Gems of War a player can choose to invest time or money to receive resources.

There is an interesting quote in the article, that reads as follows…
“When a game is designed for kids, game developers shouldn’t be allowed to monetise addiction,” Hawley said in a press release. “And when kids play games designed for adults, they should be walled off from compulsive microtransactions. Game developers who knowingly exploit children should face legal consequences.”

Gems of War is not a game designed for children, and it does not require compulsive microtransactions. You can progress in the game, and play as much as you want, without ever needing to make a purchase. If we employed a stamina system, or something that limited the amount of time you could play, or was necessary in order to access specific content, that would be different. As it is, all of our troops are available to our playerbase, regardless of purchase history. The odds of chests are the same for all players, and all of our troops are obtainable through play, though it may take a significant amount of time.

VIP keys are, of course, limited to VIP players, but they do not contain any troops or content that isn’t obtainable from the use of our other keys. The singular difference is that they have better drop rates.


Thanks for responding to this. I just wanted to make everyone aware of the proposed bill.

Keep up the great work.

I was going to point out, what we have in GoW is strictly speaking not P2W, I think we refer to it as “Pay to Accelerate” given the aforementioned capacity to earn all content through gameplay alone.

The only things we can’t get are cosmetic. And admittedly Deathknight armor but that doesn’t change much.

What would be some examples of compulsive microtransactions?

Combine time-limited events and stamina-type resources, offer the latter when the former is running.

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Flash sales on orbs, intrusive pop-ups, etc.

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Where to even start? 99% of all asian mmorpgs are loot box galores. All gathcha games of various types. EA. Etc.

Except weapons…