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Graphics Junkie
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2,512 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The American Entertainment Software Rating Board will stamp a logo onto games with micro-transactions and/ or other in-game purchases. The In-Game Purchases logo is placed on physical packaging and at download stores.

...

The labeling will “be applied to games with in-game offers to purchase digital goods or premiums with real-world currency,” the ESRB said in a news release this morning, “including but not limited to bonus levels, skins, surprise items (such as item packs, loot boxes, mystery awards), music, virtual coins and other forms of in-game currency, subscriptions, season passes and upgrades (e.g., to disable ads).”
Source

So essentially the ESRB which provides the current age ratings for video games will now have a similar system to indicate if a game has in game transactions or not, and likely will have different ratings for different types of micro-transactions.

Thanks EA for helping to create some regulatory awareness for in game gambling!
 

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*THIS SPACE FOR RENT*
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595 Posts
I'm not against raising awareness for game gambling, but I'm curious how beneficial ESRB labels will be. The news release seems to be geared toward parental monitoring. Doesn't most of the outcry (which is more about the implementation of loot-crates) come from adult gamers anyway, or at least kids that buy games without parental supervision?
 

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Agressive Perfector
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1,309 Posts
I'm not against raising awareness for game gambling, but I'm curious how beneficial ESRB labels will be. The news release seems to be geared toward parental monitoring. Doesn't most of the outcry (which is more about the implementation of loot-crates) come from adult gamers anyway, or at least kids that buy games without parental supervision?
Most of the outcry does seem to be from adults, although it is a nice feature to warn parents of because I know several people who's kids racked up $1000+ charges in their games without their parent's knowledge (at least up until the bill arrived lol). Either way, it'll hopefully make people less likely to want to get games with microtransactions and the gaming industry (as in EA and Activision) will notice.
 

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Graphics Junkie
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2,512 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
As long as they have a rating system that is easy to understand while categorizing different levels of micro transactions, it should be a great deterrent to keep games that are not generally geared towards gambling friendly consumers from sneaking in addictive money grabbing in-game transactions.

I could see the lowest level being something like PUBG or rocket league where the items are purely cosmetic and you have no other incentive to buying them.. and then the higher or highest level being something like SWBF2, or a game that has random crates that directly affect your skill level in the game.
 

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Registered
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714 Posts
How to bypass:
1. Make no mention of microptrans before launch.
2. Wait 2 weeks after launch.
3. Add microtrans in update after launch.

Avoids negative press before launch, gets that nice and juicy day one volumes, and tricks suckers into buying your game without the label.
 

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Fantastic Mr Fox
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5,859 Posts
The Google Play store has a similar label on apps that let you pay to win and apps that just let you upgrade to the paid version. This is all just a PR stunt. This label will get applied to so many games that it won't tell you anything useful. There's a big difference between being able to buy weapon skins from a store and gambling on loot boxes.
 

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Adclock.net
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3,752 Posts
As long as they have a rating system that is easy to understand while categorizing different levels of micro transactions, it should be a great deterrent to keep games that are not generally geared towards gambling friendly consumers from sneaking in addictive money grabbing in-game transactions.

I could see the lowest level being something like PUBG or rocket league where the items are purely cosmetic and you have no other incentive to buying them.. and then the higher or highest level being something like SWBF2, or a game that has random crates that directly affect your skill level in the game.

Don't forget fortnite and overwatch, Those are also cosmetic only.
 

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Tank destroyer and a god
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2,510 Posts
How to bypass:
1. Make no mention of microptrans before launch.
2. Wait 2 weeks after launch.
3. Add microtrans in update after launch.

Avoids negative press before launch, gets that nice and juicy day one volumes, and tricks suckers into buying your game without the label.
Thats already proven to not work. People who joined games which were originally free of microtransactions, and they were added in month or two, left afterwards.
 

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Premium Member
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6,631 Posts
I welcome this and I am actively doing my best to avoid most microtransactions. I differentiate microtransactions into two categories : Intrusive and harmless. Games that have pay2win microtransaction are instantly dead to me. Free2play games with cosmetic microtransactions like DotA2 I am fine with, because that is how that system works without screwing people over. Single Player/Multi Player games that I pay for I avoid all microtransactions like Assassin's Creed where you can buy weapons in the store for the single player campaign. I don't know if you would consider expansion packs / addons as microtransaction, but if they add DLC to a game (lets say Witcher 3 is a good example) then I am fine with that because it adds to the game and you can clearly tell it wasn't cut out of the original game only to screw you over.
Games like Destiny 2 I avoid because eventually you pay $200 for that game and it feels like they made you pay $200 for a $60 game.


I feel like I am kind of a video game romantic where you buy a disc/cartridge for ~$60 and get the full game and have a single player experience that completely isolates you from the outside world. The landscape is changing though and a lot of younger folks are probably already desensitized to microtransactions.
 

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Registered
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2,312 Posts
Wont change anything, but will raise awareness which is good. Wont stop EA or whoever from doing this, and will probably only hurt their sales by 3%. In any case, this is a step forward in the right direction. I 100% support micro trans for free games, outside of that its a case by case basis on how i feel their implementation is.... and that is where they need to do something. There is a difference between offering better gear and cosmetic items. There is also a difference between a non competive game (including no leaderboards) and a competitive game. In a 100% non competitive game, i dont care if Bob wants to pay 10$ so he can advance faster... if you add a leaderboard, then he paid for an advantage.

TLDR :We need a multi tiered label for this microtrans stuff.
 

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Registered
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677 Posts
From what I've heard, this is just an "In-Game Purchases" badge like mobile phones have. So like randomizer said, it'll have such a wide net, from DLC to loot boxes, that it won't tell you anything useful.

Personally, I've realized it's best to just avoid AAA games. I mean when's the last time you played one that felt like it was innovating or pushing the genre/industry forward? Witcher 3? 2015? A large majority of them are just regurgitated garbage with less features and more loot boxes than the version from last year. But yeah, avoid AAA and mobile games, and the whole loot box garbage isn't much of a problem. It's also about the only option you have to try to change this. :\
 

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in da freezing hell
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314 Posts
From what I've heard, this is just an "In-Game Purchases" badge like mobile phones have. So like randomizer said, it'll have such a wide net, from DLC to loot boxes, that it won't tell you anything useful.

Personally, I've realized it's best to just avoid AAA games. I mean when's the last time you played one that felt like it was innovating or pushing the genre/industry forward? Witcher 3? 2015? A large majority of them are just regurgitated garbage with less features and more loot boxes than the version from last year. But yeah, avoid AAA and mobile games, and the whole loot box garbage isn't much of a problem. It's also about the only option you have to try to change this. :\
Hmmm, try Hitman 2016, Divinity Original Sin 2, XCOM 2, XCOM 1, Tide of Numerama, tons of others ...
They're both innovative and game purchase free ...
 

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Registered
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Hmmm, try Hitman 2016, Divinity Original Sin 2, XCOM 2, XCOM 1, Tide of Numerama, tons of others ...
They're both innovative and game purchase free ...
I wouldn't call any of those AAA games. So thanks for helping to prove my point.

EDIT: Think Call of Duty, Battlefield, Madden, Assassin's Creed, etc. Games that spend more on advertising than the game itself.
 

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Registered
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I think this is a good thing for parents that want to buy their kids games. The more information the better.
 

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Registered
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Thats already proven to not work. People who joined games which were originally free of microtransactions, and they were added in month or two, left afterwards.
Depends.

Rainbow six siege just added paid only loot boxes, while at launch non of the microstransactions were gambles, you paid for what you got.

The game is more popular than ever

I specifically avoid games with loot boxes, this new rating does not adress this issue, that games can add gambling later down the line.
 

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Waiting for 7nm EUV
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Depends.

Rainbow six siege just added paid only loot boxes, while at launch non of the microstransactions were gambles, you paid for what you got.

The game is more popular than ever

I specifically avoid games with loot boxes, this new rating does not adress this issue, that games can add gambling later down the line.

Good point, people might be tricked into thinking that it didn't have such features since they weren't there in the beginning. That is especially true with games bought at retail, where the box might be from an initial batch and not feature any mention of newly added in-game purchases. But in general, with store pages on the Internet, it will be interesting to see what the new rules will say about this. Say, if a change to introduce in-game purchases will have to be prominently displayed where it can easily be seen or not.
 

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I Love this Hobby!
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7,793 Posts
How to bypass:
1. Make no mention of microptrans before launch.
2. Wait 2 weeks after launch.
3. Add microtrans in update after launch.

Avoids negative press before launch, gets that nice and juicy day one volumes, and tricks suckers into buying your game without the label.
Additionally, most games are bought online by the kids. Even if they place labels on an online pic of the game (which will most likely go unnoticed) parents are not usually involved in these online purchases.

This scheme is commendable though as it will increase awareness over time for those parents that are involved in screening games whether in the store or online.

What we need is for people to stop buying these types of games but lemmings will always be there because they just have to have things and they get offended when you try to tell them how to reasonably spend their money.
 

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Legacy Member
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Additionally, most games are bought online by the kids. Even if they place labels on an online pic of the game (which will most likely go unnoticed) parents are not usually involved in these online purchases.

This scheme is commendable though as it will increase awareness over time for those parents that are involved in screening games whether in the store or online.

What we need is for people to stop buying these types of games but lemmings will always be there because they just have to have things and they get offended when you try to tell them how to reasonably spend their money.
When 85% of high end titles use this methodology its not realistic for the typical consumer to boycott the game/s, particularly true when they would essentially be boycotting the most mainstream part of the industry itself.

Do you have any statistic to prove that most online games are bought by kids? I personally have a hard time believing that parents allow random purchases by children via their bank account or cc info without any oversight.
 

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Guitar + Amp = Happiness
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The ESRB is a joke. If you want to find out what really is in a game use common sense media or IMDB.
 
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