Epic Games is ‘committed’ to loot box transparency across all titles

Epic Games and THQ Nordic have joined a host of other game developers pledging to improve transparency about the odds of loot boxes in their games. 

We reported yesterday that Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony have announced new initiatives designed to aid consumers in making “informed choices” about their purchases, including information about loot boxes. The three hardware developers confirmed they will “require” developers releasing games on their platforms to disclose information about the “relative rarity or probability of obtaining randomised virtual items” by 2020. 

The news followed a workshop about loot boxes at the Federal Trade Commission’s Inside the Game event earlier this week, which brought together a number of stakeholders, including industry representatives, consumer advocates, trade associations, academics, and government officials. Attendees discussed “concerns regarding the marketing and use of loot boxes and other in-game purchases”, and the “potential behavioural impact of these virtual rewards on young consumers”.

At the time of writing member companies who had also made the pledge included Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and Wizards of the Coast.

However, some member companies were notably absent from the list, including: 505 Games, Capcom, CI Games, Deep Silver, Disney Interactive Studios, Epic Games, Focus Home Interactive, Gearbox Publishing, GungHo, Intellivision Entertainment, Kalypso, Konami, Magic Leap, NCsoft, Natsume, Nexon, Rebellion, Riot Games, Sega, Square Enix, THQ Nordic, Tencent, and Marvelous.

Now, however, Epic Games has confirmed it too will go further. In a statement to GI.biz, Epic said: “Earlier this year, the Fortnite Save the World team made a change that showed players every item that they would get in a paid llama before opening it. 

“Earlier this week, the team at Psyonix announced a similar change coming later this year to paid crates in Rocket League. Going forward, we’re committed to the same transparency for player purchases in all Epic Games titles.”

THQ Nordic has gone a step further, stating on Twitter: “we do not plan to implement casino-styled mechanics in our games” at all.

“THQ Nordic GmbH and THQ Nordic Inc. have not made a commitment on loot box odds disclosure, because a) we have not been asked by @ESAGovAffairs for a statement ahead of their publication, b) we currently do not have a single game with lootbox mechanics published, and c) we do not plan to implement casino-styled mechanics in our games.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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