Apple Imposes Transparency Rules for Games with Loot Boxes

In what’s very likely the biggest tonal shift in gaming history, Apple is now imposing new gaming loot box rules that will require mobile titles to disclose the odds of receiving items from said loot boxes. And this rule is absolutely mandatory.

gaming loot box rules

The rule has been added to Apple’s App Store review guidelines under the Payments section. It reads, verbatim:

“Apps offering ‘loot boxes’ or other mechanisms that provide randomized virtual items for purchase must disclose the odds of receiving each type of item to customers prior to purchase.”

It’s not immediately clear if this rule is retroactive or if apps and mobile games with loot boxes that have been released prior to this change are exempt from the new guidelines.

The rule mirrors regulations imposed by China in May of this year which requires all games that have loot box mechanics disclose their chance of receiving different types of rewards. The Chinese Ministry of Culture reportedly carries out random checks on games to ensure compliance, but it’s unclear if Apple will perform similar checks.

Our Thoughts

This is the same Apple that recently confirmed they intentionally slow down older iPhones that have low-capacity batteries without telling anyone. So, yeah, color us surprised. We desperately hope these new guidelines will be the first in a wave of changes that will see predatory gaming loot box practices taken out behind the shed.

Sources: Polygon, PCGamesN

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About Chris Hughes

Chris is a literal wolf who has managed to learn how to use a computer. He enjoys cooking, roleplaying, writing, and reading those who do the same. You can find him staring at Twitter or read more of his attempt at humor at his blog, or in-game primarily on WildStar, Blade and Soul or Final Fantasy XIV.