Games and apps hosted on the Google Play Store and selling loot boxes will now need to clearly state the odds of receiving each reward before the sale.
Google has recently changed several policies in its online store to make it a more child-friendly environment. The changes related to booty chests are part of this initiative, as lawmakers and game boards around the world are wondering whether they should consider these chests as games of chance for adults.
What is a booty chest?
Booty chests are used by some video game designers to make their games profitable. These virtual chests sometimes reward a player for free for his efforts or playing time, but they are more often sold for real money.
They usually contain randomly chosen aesthetic elements that have no influence on the game and that players can use to disguise their character or to change the appearance of the interface. In some cases, they also offer an advantage in the game, a controversial phenomenon called pay-win .
The new rules will give customers a better idea of the likelihood of getting the item they want by opening a safe.
Apple adopted a similar policy in December 2017.
The debate over looted coffers recently moved to the US Congress, when Republican Senator Josh Hawley introduced a bill banning the sale of looted chests in some games.
Elsewhere in the world, Belgium and the Netherlands (New Window) concluded that these gambling elements were illegal. The United Kingdom (New Window) , France (New Window) , New Zealand (New Window) , Ireland (New Window) and Germany have determined the opposite.