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Apple Now Requires Game Developers to disclose odds on "Loot Boxes" [MERGED THREADS]

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    DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 18,810 Guardian
    tutyimutyi wrote: »
    This is a serious gambling and predatory,the regulations are coming very soon,the ea has lost too much money because of this.the games will be enjoyable soon.

    I'm not sure if by this you mean loot boxes are going way, but I don't think lootboxes are going away. Actual gambling isn't going away. I can see requiring companies to publish the odds and other details of how the mechanisms work. I can even see the day when these types of things have age restrictions: under a certain age can't participate or are limited as to their participation. But it is less likely that governments are going to globally prohibit the mechanism altogether. I can't envision a net that large not sweeping up everything from Sunday bingo to the McDonalds Monopoly game.

    Personally, I don't think loot boxes are the problem intrinsically. I think the problem is a more subtle one involving how monetization works. Put simply, in the past someone would make a game, calculate the costs of that game, and decide what to sell it for to make a reasonable profit. You couldn't just make the price exorbitantly high, because then less people would buy it. You had to make the price reasonable, which constrained the amount of money any one person paid to play. And while there was an incentive to maximize profits, the large uncertainty in how to maximize profits further constrained what you could try to get away with. If you guess wrong by pushing the envelope too far, you could lose a lot of money. It was better to be conservative, and sell for what you need plus a moderate amount more, than sell for the maximum you think you can get away with.

    But recurrent monetization eliminates that restraint. You can now actually hire someone whose job is not to find a reasonable price for things, but whose job is to maximize returns per player. This change in how revenue is generated has nothing directly to do with the things that are sold, but more with the attitude of the people doing the selling. Loot boxes encourage, but do not directly cause, this shift in attitude. Its actually microtransactions of any kind that lie at the root of the problem, because microtransactions can be optimized in a way normal revenue can't, because a company only sells a game once, but they can sell millions of different microtransactions. This means they can keep tuning things until they get what they want, and if what they want is to maximize revenue, they can squeeze the player in a way someone that gets only one chance to set a retail price cannot.

    Loot boxes add an interesting dimension to the problem, but I don't think they are the root of the problem and I think it might be a mistake to focus too closely on the "game of chance" aspect of the problem. The real problem in a nutshell is that microtransactions make experimentation and customer manipulation a low risk high reward activity.
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    To be honest,i do not really wanna disquss about this:) it is 3am here soon and i have my strong opinion,which based on experience.i used to play so many games on so many platforms,started with atari,c64.started to play on mobiles from the beginning.it is not the subject of this thread,but in this case and in so many others as well,this game is unique and special.it is a big mess,a bugparade,from the beginning.i have not seen this in any other games ever,lags,bugs and mess.most of the players are still here,because they love the marvel heroes and because of the community,friends around them in the game.about the psychology and brainwash part,i do not wanna write down my thoughts.that would be pretty long and difficult,the english is not my mother tongue,still improving it.it is a brainwash,btw.
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    One more thing to add,you are right,most of the companies are not making the drop rates public,but they are having frank categories,like common,rare and legendary,or something like this,so everyone knows that,they need to grind or pay more to roll for legendaries,because they have much lower drop rate.This company has similiar categories too,with the heroes,the god tier heroes are having much lower drop rate,also the paying habits are changing the drops too,like in most of the other games too,roughly from 2012.doesn’t matter if the companies are keeping the drop rates in secrecy and they are keep stating that,the drop rates are the same for every heroes,there are numerous and reliable surveys about this already and also we are experiencing the opposite of that statement.they do not need to give us the info,because we know it already.
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    @DNA3000 agree with you.i wanted to say something similiar,but my english is not good enough for that,to express fully what i think.the gambling is not going to disappear,for sure.at least they should give something for the money,what the players are spending.atm lots of them are spending hundreds or thousands of dollars and they get nothing.like a casino.
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    SteelCurtainMUTSteelCurtainMUT Posts: 432 ★★
    What’s going on with this? Why haven’t they released any drop rates? Is it that big of a deal Kabam to tell us Kabam? Lol
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    Can’t wait to find out the 4* drop rate is .0001%.

    Kabam
    Has lied about so many blunders they’ve made like champs not being in crystals.
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    What’s going on with this? Why haven’t they released any drop rates? Is it that big of a deal Kabam to tell us Kabam? Lol

    We should report this to Apple

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    BigTimeBigTime Posts: 246 ★★
    What’s going on with this? Why haven’t they released any drop rates? Is it that big of a deal Kabam to tell us Kabam? Lol

    We should report this to Apple

    I suspect this is why they haven't released an update to the game since the requirement.

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    GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 36,299 ★★★★★
    What’s going on with this? Why haven’t they released any drop rates? Is it that big of a deal Kabam to tell us Kabam? Lol

    We should report this to Apple

    They're already in talks with Apple. They're fine.
    BigTime wrote: »
    What’s going on with this? Why haven’t they released any drop rates? Is it that big of a deal Kabam to tell us Kabam? Lol

    We should report this to Apple

    I suspect this is why they haven't released an update to the game since the requirement.

    They haven't released an Update because they never do in January. Same thing the last 2 years.
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    DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 18,810 Guardian
    Can’t wait to find out the 4* drop rate is .0001%.

    If it was anywhere near that then that would mean the average player would get one out of every million PHCs. That seems unlikely.
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    DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 18,810 Guardian
    What’s going on with this? Why haven’t they released any drop rates? Is it that big of a deal Kabam to tell us Kabam? Lol

    We should report this to Apple

    And what do you intend to report? The guidelines are guidelines for app store approval. You can't currently report that Kabam violated the guidelines for app store approval when they haven't submitted an app for app store approval that violates that new guideline yet.

    A lot of people seem to have only a passing superficial understanding of what the guidelines are. They are not guidelines for app store compliance. They are guidelines for passing the app approval process. In fact, the actual title of the document in question is: App Review Guidelines.
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    ThatweirdguyThatweirdguy Posts: 675 ★★★
    BigTime wrote: »
    What’s going on with this? Why haven’t they released any drop rates? Is it that big of a deal Kabam to tell us Kabam? Lol

    We should report this to Apple

    I suspect this is why they haven't released an update to the game since the requirement.

    Despite what the local forum troll keeps saying....this is correct. Updates have to go through the approval process. That review would require the disclosures.
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    DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 18,810 Guardian
    BigTime wrote: »
    What’s going on with this? Why haven’t they released any drop rates? Is it that big of a deal Kabam to tell us Kabam? Lol

    We should report this to Apple

    I suspect this is why they haven't released an update to the game since the requirement.

    Despite what the local forum troll keeps saying....this is correct. Updates have to go through the approval process. That review would require the disclosures.

    And what would be your explanation for why last January did not have an update posted? There was no app store policy change back then.

    Perhaps more fundamentally though, updates don't just randomly happen. They happen in order to push content the game needs. The content we needed in January was in the December update created in November and pushed on December first. How could they possibly have known in November that Apple was going to be making an app store change in mid December? In fact, November is being optimistic: to have been in the December 1 push the content must have been worked on in November, based on scheduling decisions made no later than October.

    They could not possibly have just decided not to push an update when Apple changed policies, because if an update was scheduled for January than suspending that update would mean we would not be able to play the new content scheduled to be pushed in that update. The timeline simply doesn't work.
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    WOKWOK Posts: 468 ★★
    MrMojo wrote: »
    Bottom line is, people want to know what a "rare" chance means.

    Those who choose to disagree have a right to do so, but IMO, this is a very fair and reasonable statement albeit maybe not the "bottom line" reason.
    My views that would support this is very clear and simple. Every aspect of the game we play involves concrete numbers, from Champ PI, unit costs for items, amount of damage for a hit, time till the next free&daily crystals, points awarded for winning a fight, signature ability chances/damage/recovery etc...
    Nothing other than the "chances" with crystals do we get a vague description that could vary upon a personal perspective. Everything else in the game is categorized by numbers to inform and educate the players, and those numbers are hard to question whether they can or are being manipulated. I don't believe its necessary to continue having the drop rates be the exception. TBH, I could care less what they are but more concerned with the general principles of consumer/user rights.

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    WOKWOK Posts: 468 ★★
    WOK wrote: »
    MrMojo wrote: »
    Bottom line is, people want to know what a "rare" chance means.

    TBH, I could care less what they are but more concerned with the general principles of consumer/user rights.

    Hi @WOK, what consumer rights would that be then? Because at this moment in time there are no legal consumer rights for what Kabam sells in-game re odds per item

    Hi @Hubris_hater, as far as I know you're correct ro a degree. Reason being for stating that I'm more concerned with the GENERAL PRINCIPALS OF CONSUMER RIGHTS.

    You know the ones THAT ARE legally represented and covered by the FTC(in the United States). In case you weren't familiar with them, these are just a few of the principles.

    1. Right to information
    2. Right to choose
    3. Right to redress
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    SignumSignum Posts: 133
    I think the disclosure of drop rates gives this game a "cleaner" environment. I can't discuss what the effect would be on crystal purchases or whether it will have a massive effect on kabams financials. It may cause some crystal openers to slow down, it may not. For me personally, playing since the very beginning, I think disclosure creates a happy and healthy community. I now know exactly what I'm getting into and really can't hold resentment to the developer for bad drops.
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    MMCskippyMMCskippy Posts: 352 ★★
    I always think it's strange when a substantial percentage of people don't want to know something just so things don't change.

    An even larger pool of us have bought into the loot crystals offered in game and have pulled 2* champs out of crystals with a higher percentage of a chance to obtain 3* or 4* "xyz" champ.

    Smart money doesn't buy those crystals any more, but if there was a published 15% chance to obtain the 3* champ and a 5% chance to obtain the 4* champ, those odds may draw MORE people to buy their crystals. This is one of those weird things where transparency and accountability would lead to a potential INCREASE in revenue.

    For example: How many people saved their asses off for the special 5* featured crystals? To get a better chance at getting a specific 5* champ, people were willing to spend 50% MORE on a crystal spin.
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    WOKWOK Posts: 468 ★★
    @Hubris_hater , I didn't take your question as an attack at all. Reason why I specified the FTC in the U.S. and listed a few of the principles with the thought that you may not reside or be familiar with U.S laws. I do apologize for not doing that intitially. I tend to speak in terms of my own "little world" sometimes without considering the global audience the Internet entertains.

    I appreciate the kind words. And I do agree with you and actually eluded to something similar in another post. Although there have been great strides made in regards to regulations within the digital world, there's a vast amount of day to day "transactions" still untouched and left to question such as this.

    Like I said, TBH I could care less of the drop rates personally but with all the hoopla around it, I felt compelled to give my "2cents" on the subject.

    With all the conjecture, national differences and societal norms aside, I just wish for the best outcome for the playerbase as a whole and to me personally, I feel more information, good or bad is always a positive.
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    Does anyone have notes or reports from other games that have already had to disclose loot boxes? My google-fu is not strong today, I keep finding tons of articles by journalists, but nothing from an actual developer.

    My sense is that there's a lot that remains to be clarified. It's not clear to me Apple is really doing many rejections yet. Or nobody is blogging about it in an easily searchable way :smiley:
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    DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 18,810 Guardian
    Does anyone have notes or reports from other games that have already had to disclose loot boxes? My google-fu is not strong today, I keep finding tons of articles by journalists, but nothing from an actual developer.

    My sense is that there's a lot that remains to be clarified. It's not clear to me Apple is really doing many rejections yet. Or nobody is blogging about it in an easily searchable way :smiley:

    I've been told that both the Futurama game and the Simpsons game have had recent updates that have begun to disclose the odds of certain loot boxes that fit the general description. I don't play either so I cannot verify first hand.
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    I checked out Futurama, which sure seemed to only offer loot boxes on occasion as direct purchases.

    So I do think the guidelines are probably in effect, but I have no idea if in-game currency counts as "purchases".

    Personally I'd find any justification of in-game currency not counting to be on shaky ground, especially since that's probably the primary source of information for Kabam. I doubt they sit there and just say "gee people bought 5 odins today". Most of their reports probably detail unit purchases, and they probably optimize for unit spend per-player, not necessarily money.
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    ThatweirdguyThatweirdguy Posts: 675 ★★★
    There will be more announcements about crystals changing due to this rule. I expect it will be in the 17.0 patch notes. That update has to be approved by apple and in compliance with their rules.
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    > What use at all will this be for the players even IF Kabam issues drop rates?

    It'll change my behavior, for sure. Right now, I pretty much avoid all crystal purchases (unless I'm drunk). But, if the ratios are actually announced, I may just budget grind time to build up units for pulls, instead of just saving units for pots.

    I can't speak for others. I suspect it may have a small effect on a group of players who see all these crystal openings and get excited by them, then drain their resources taking a shot. But... would they even care about the DR? I don't know, I somehow doubt it. Odds of gambling in Vegas is pretty well publicized for table games, and people still do stupid things there.

    So, do I expect this to be earth shattering? No. But it's _interesting_ to me. If it's not interesting to you, that's OK, but maybe dial back on the venom a bit. Open DRs gives me more structure for choosing a strategy for when to hoard and when not to. Instead of "nope", I might budget 5-15% of units every month to random pulls, as part of a risk model.

    > At the moment only PHCs and the daily specials would need these as already agreed.

    I'm pretty sure "in game currency" extends directly to pretty much everything in the game obtainable by units, which is practically every crystal in the game. Notably grandmaster crystals, which I believe are a reason why we're getting this massive featured crystal revision.

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    ThatweirdguyThatweirdguy Posts: 675 ★★★
    Apple's deadline was 12/21 as I understand it for any apps and updates that need to go through the approval process. For what many believe is an unrelated reason....there has not been an update since that deadline. So 17.0 will be under Apple scrutiny.

    As to what difference it will make ....it already has. We know the new featured 5* FC has a 1/24 chance for each hero. We still don't have official word on odds for the "old" featured 5* crystal. Although many believe that it is 15%-20% for the featured champ. We also do not know the odds of FGMC. I hope that Apple forces them too release drop rates for 3* vs 4* vs 5* champs and the specific drop rates for 3*, 4*, 5* featured champs in those crystals. Other than the rates on featured champs I do not think we get drop rates for specific champs. I also think many, if not all, crystals will be re-vamped in 17.0.

    It might not change purchasing behavior but from a transparency and consumer protection angle I think it is welcome. If this info is not relevant to you personally then ignore it. I know many players feel differently and appreciate the steps Apple is taking to protect its customers from sellers in their store.
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