Given the popularity of the recently released Call of Duty: Mobile, one can expect game publishers to add monetization in the form of battle passes, skins, and loot boxes. While there is increasing regulation around loot boxes in countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, many others do not have any laws put in place.
With how addictive loot boxes can get, Google and Apple both require companies that release applications on their digital distribution platforms to follow certain rules. One of them is to disclose the odds of any gambling-related function in an application. In Call of Duty: Mobile, supply drops are the game’s form of loot boxes. However, the game also has a section that shows the odds of receiving certain rarities of items.
Call of Duty: Mobile has its skins and items in three levels. This includes the Green Uncommon, Blue Rare, and Purple Epic tiers. The lowest tier of Uncommon items has a 54.73% chance of dropping, while Rare items are at 44.47% instead. However, the highest tier of Epic is only obtainable 0.8% of the time. While the odds have been released, this may have a reverse psychology effect instead. With the Rare items shown at an almost 50% chance, some fear that players might actually be encouraged to buy the loot boxes.
There is also a different perspective on loot boxes by players in different regions. Most games in Asia are considered pay-to-win, but players are fine with it. However, many have also compared things like trading card games to loot boxes because the cards rewarded are random. While all Pokémon card booster packs contain 6 common, 3 uncommon, and 1 rare, there are no odds attached to the type of rare card. Some rare cards have a value of under a dollar, while others sit in the two to three-digit range. However, the Supply Drops in Call of Duty: Mobile have more of a gambling feel to them.
Many other major console manufacturers like Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony also revealed they will soon follow suit and require publishers to disclose loot box odds. Game publishers like Activision Blizzard, Bethesda, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft will be required to comply. This was announced at a United States Federal Trade Commission workshop by ESA Chief Counsel of Tech Policy Michael Warnecke. The update will be released on consoles before the end of 2020. This is also likely the release date of the next generation of consoles.
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