Should video games that charge money for "loot boxes" (prizes with random rewards) be legally considered gambling?
While loot boxes are annoying, game companies are making billions of dollars on them (22B in micro-transactions in 2017, double that of 2012). As far as the question goes, gambling has the potential to produce financial, taxable gains to the gambler. Loot boxes are, technically, gambling, but for a virtual, non-taxable, non-financial reward.
Then all collectible card packets are gambling. All board games with random cards are gambling. Gumball machines are gambling. Go away nanny state you’re drunk.
What?? How can anyone possibly say yes to this...
No, because that would mean it gets banned for people under 18, which is not the right direction. It needs regulated though, something as simple as disclosed probability would be sufficient.
No because you are not wining real money
By definition it is gambling and there is some grey area there on the risk but ultimately I don't think the downside warrants deeming them illegal.
Loot boxes are the WORST thing to happen to large scale videogames. Companies who sell the "whole game" to you but then require double the money for extra content and/or an advantage in multiplayer should be ashamed. Their better off making their game more expensive to begin with but giving free updates or provide gameplay where I don't have to worry about players having a "legendary" and beating me.
EA should be gut-shot
Probably why they posted this
Buying Magic the Gathering cards are exactly the same principle, and not gambling.
You should have to be able to win money you can actually put in your pocket for something to be gambling.
You can also win other chances at the lottery. "You win another ticket".
Which is why the lottery isn't an illegal form of gambling....
Yes. The definition of gambling is; a chance for a prize at a price.
Not a virtual prize....
The prize costs real money, hence you won something of real value.
But you can't cash it out. That is key.
Oh, I thought that you paid money to try and beat the game. And the prize was a big payout. Is that how it works or not?
When I say payout I mean payout in cash or products.
No no just like bragging rights that's you beat the game. There isn't like a cash prize for winning haha.
Oh. Well that's not gambling
The way Chucky cheese or Dave and Busters gets away with it, it that you get tickets with no cash value. The tickets can be traded for items. You don't win the prize directly. Apparently that's how the courts differentiate it.
I would argue you're buying a chance at a certain prize. You're guaranteed a prize, maybe not the one you want but you'll get something.
But you don't even get anything tangible. If you get Speed-Cola in COD, there is no monetary value of that and getting a few levels further in Nazi Zombies doesn't mean anything. You aren't gambling because you can get any type of none-game-helping reward that can be used outside of the game. And it's not like you beat a video game and then even get the next video game free, you are just out a video game that you already beat lol.
Ty. When you buy one of those gift wrapped surprise packages at the store, there's no expectation that you are getting more than what you paid for. It's just a surprise to what you're getting. It's not like you're putting a quarter into a slot for a chance at $1000.
The same with loot boxes. It's like opening a pack of cards, most likely you'll get nothing of value but you can still get something valuable.
As one that plays games, it is gambling.
They’re purposing stacking the odds against players.
Not gambling. You don't have to pay. You can earn lootboxes/item drops via leveling up.
No, of course not. Would you consider it gambling for a kid to buy a pack of Pokemon cards, not knowing which specific cards are inside?
Is that what they're talking about? I thought that it was online gaming.
It’s the same principle.
I don't think buying a package with an unknown number of things inside like a surprise package is gambling. At least I don't think the courts would say it is. It may be a gamble to you. But it's not gambling in the legal sense.
No, of course not. If a physical surprise package can't be gambling, then why would a virtual surprise package be any different?
No more gambling than taking coins (now stupid cards) at Chuck E Cheese and playing their games for prizes.
They get around that by not having the machine spit out actual money. It's a fine line that the lawyers have figured out. You know that machine that you drop quarters in that you try and get a whole bunch of coins to drop? That's a type of slot machine in most countries because it actually gives you the quarters. They made it legal by having it spit out tickets instead.
Brilliant! I always thought of CEC as a gambling indoctrination center.
Games like these don't spit out money in any way. The prizes just make the games easier.
With micro-transactions... technically.
No, and why should it matter if it is gambling. Texas is so stupid making gambling illegal.
I think it depends on whether or not they provide an advantage.
In some games, like HotS, exp and gold only get heroes, all of whom are about equal in power, or aesthetic modifications like skins or mounts.
In Battlefront 2, before they took it out (not permanently, just to "re-tweak" it,) they offer stronger gear and upgrades, giving a distinct strategic advantage.
So you're spending money for the chance of a huge benefit.
That's a type of gambling system.
Battlefront II was a good purchase in my opinions since they took micro transactions away the day of the world wide release.
They took them away temporarily, to re-tool them, with every indication it will be much in the same pay-to-win vein they originally (and still) intended. That's their official stance.
I guess enjoy it while you can, because they have expressed full intent to bring it back.
I assume this post from show of hands is linked to battlefront 2 and as hellogreedo put it summed up you are basically harming free dlc
Yes if only so we can get rid of loot boxes forever
If you picked up a hitchhiker and put him in the back seat with your kids, I would call it gambling, but probably not in terms of law.
No lmao. It's a video game.
You're paying for extra content. The only somewhat gambling aspect is the fact that you could get really good items or really bad.
Leave it to EA to take the worst parts about freedom gaming and put it into a triple A $60 game...
That company is a cancer.
That's stupid. It's not gambling but it is a huge waste of money and gives video game makers reason to keep doing it, since it makes them a ton of money for almost no effort. I hate people who pay for them because they are the reason they are still a thing.
Nope. I don't want the government involved with video games.
Do you really want the government to regulate video games now?
Umm....no. Seriously, who on earth is stupid enough to want government involved in video games???
Excused SD123 😉
No. You always win something so its not technically gambling
How can It be gambling when whatever you get isn't real money?
The loot boxes cost a certain amount of money. In some cases, the items you win can be sold to other people online for money - each item has it's own market value. So basically, you loose money if the item you win is worth less than what you paid for, and you win money if the item is worth more than you paid for. In these cases, the loot-box system is certainly used as a form of what society usually considers gambling. In other cases, where the items won can't be sold to other players, I wouldn't personally consider it gambling in a legal sense.
Also, it is very tricky to define gambling in the first place. Any decision that involves making/losing money could be considered gambling due to the probabilistic nature of the universe
You can buy baseball cards online on a market.
You can buy baseball cards wrapped in a package.
If the baseball cards in a package don't exceed or meet the value of buying the baseball cards individually, you have lost money.
Is buying baseball cards gambling?
Good question. That's why i mentioned that the definition of gambling is very vague. What you described could easily be considered a form of gambling, based on other activities society calls gambling. Also, it's not that I want gambling to be illegal, I'm just attempting to show that if we want to consider some things to be gambling, then we also should consider other things to be gambling.
This user is currently being ignored
If people hate EA so much why do they keep buying their games?
People are shameless fucking idiots, coffee. That's why.
True. I get the feeling that some people think if they downvote an EA developer on a reddit ama a few more times then EA will be compelled to do something different
-650K is what it takes for Disney to intervene...thankfully. Otherwise, no, merely downvoting would not have worked.
Gambling shouldn't be regulated, so the legal question itself is a nonsensical one.
No, I don't even want gambling to be considered gambling...legally speaking. Video games is one area where I believe the free market should rule. If something is BS, the fans will let the company know. See Microsoft trying to ban used games...oops, Sony wins!
Abso-fucking-lutely. EA and anyone who still buys their tripe can go Fuck themselves.
Well...guess I'll have to start doing more stretches. EA has TONS of games going back over 30 years...boycotting them is not an option.
I haven't played anything EA in years.
Boycotting a video game company simply means not buying any of their products from an online store or new.
You can boycott EA and play their games, as long as you buy them used.
What idiot thinks that isn’t gambling❓
It is absolutely gambling and game developers are also facing criticism for creating “virtual Skinner boxes” where players are conditioned to want to purchase randomized rewards just like a slot machine. The only difference is that slot machines are regulated as to how much they must pay out.
They're not gambling.
You pay money for a chance to win a reward. That’s gambling.
You always win a reward. The loot boxes are never empty. In gambling, there is a chance to lose your money and get nothing. Loot boxes always give you something.
The 'quality' of said something can vary. That's gambling.
You pay money to receive some type of variable-value reward. It’s still gambling.
Not if you get something in return every time
The quality is not something that can be equated to money. You're essentially paying for extra content.
In your opinion it may be something similar to gambling, but legally it is not gambling.
Video game regulators have already claimed it is not gambling and does not meet the legal requirements for gambling.
It is not gambling.
Gambling, by definition, is taking the risk of getting nothing (zero, zilch, nada) at all in return
Are you gambling when you put a quarter in a prize machine and some things are better than others?
By every definition of gambling I found, loot crates are gambling.
Legally, loot boxes are not gambling.
This is a should they be considered gambling question. Are they is irrelevant to the question being asked. Based on the definitions of gambling, loot boxes are gambling.
We're using legal definitions, not dictionary definitions.
According to the law, they're not gambling.
The regulators have spoken.
No, Bert. You buying a prize
It doesn't matter. You fail to understand the scope of the question. Is it considered gambling? No it isn't that is a fact. It's also true that loot boxes, as I've been saying, fit the definitions of gambling. Therefore, they SHOULD be considered gambling.
Oh for the love of all that’s holy, some people on this app LIVE to argue and be RIGHT. You’ve all stated your opinion two, maybe 3 times, and your definitions, facts and so on to back it up. But you’re powerless to just agree to disagree. It’s quite a spectacle.
With the loot crate you are still buying s prize since you win something no matter what; just some prices are better than others. You can't walk away with nothing
I don't live to argue. I just love to argue
“Walking away with nothing” doesn’t have to be a component for the game to be considered gambling. It’s the same as paying to spin a virtual prize wheel. “Consideration” “chance” and “prize” are the three elements of gambling I found and all three can apply to the loot boxes.
Considering and prize are what is here, chance is omitted since you 100% win something every time
Just wish there was a way to get out of these particular threads. Get sick of the same thing over and over and over
Loot boxes are generally given out for player progress as well. Very rarely can I think of a game where you have to pay to open loot boxes or can not get a random item dropped.
Overwatch lets you open loot boxes for free, CSGO has random item drops.
Free content doesn't sound like gambling.
Chance isn’t omitted just because there is always a prize. There is an element of chance because prizes vary. Rocket League requires players to purchase keys to unlock their loot boxes, and I’m sure most every game gives players the option to buy loot boxes for real money. If you can spend real money for a chance to win a prize, it’s gambling by definition.
Let me clarify: if you can spend real money to win a some prize within a range of possible prizes... you know
Please excuse my erroneous “a” and this extra message I’m posting to explain it 🙄😂
I don’t play video games, but I heard this is what EA did with Star Wars Battlefront 2. Kind of a dick move if you ask me.
for certain games, absolutely. if you don’t believe me, look up the CSGO Lotto controversy on youtube
The CSGO lottery was related to third party sites. They have been banned.
many still operate
They're not related to lootboxes. Not ran by video game developers. Completely separate issue.
still, anybody that does it knows that it completely gambling. half of the people don’t even keep the items, they sell them
CSGO lotteries are a separate issue from lootboxes. The only thing relating them is that CSGO has loot boxes.
Gambling is what it is regardless of how you feel about them.