The Chinese government has passed new regulations that require games with blind loot boxes to make their item probabilities known to consumers.
Online games in China that feature blind loot boxes will be required to outline their drop probabilities in the future. That’s according to new regulations the Chinese government passed.
As translated by NeoGAF’s chillybright, the new law will go in effect on May 1, 2017. The verbiage states that publishers will need to announce information about name, property, content, quantity, and draw probability for any virtual item available for sale.
The law also asks publishers to make these odds clearly visible on the game’s website/store. This should cover free-to-play games as well as paid ones, so long as loot boxes are involved.
Here’s what the regulations state:
“2.6 – Online game publishers shall promptly publicly announce information about the name, property, content, quantity, and draw/forge probability of all virtual items and services that can be drawn/forge on the official website or a dedicated draw probability webpage of the game. The information on draw probability shall be true and effective.”
“2.7 – Online game publishers shall publicly announce the random draw results by customers on notable places of official website or in game, and keep record for government inquiry. The record must be kept for more than 90 days. When publishing the random draw results, some measures should be taken place to protect user privacy.”
This could have an effect on games that operate in the West and China, assuming drop rates are identical across regions.