Chinese government passes new rules on loot boxes

Chinese government passes new rules on loot boxes
Jake Tucker

By Jake Tucker

December 9th 2016 at 12:11PM

Game makers now need to reveal their drop rates for loot boxes and other chance-based microtransactions

The Chinese Ministry of Culture has passed new regulations that are specifically aimed at online games and the way that those games handle chance-based transactions. Largely in modern games this means the ubiquitous chance-based loot boxes that players can open for cosmetic items.

The law was translated and publicised by NeoGAF member Chillybright and the entire translation is as follows:

"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 regulation is interesting from a consumer standpoint because it means customers can see the actual chances of what they're getting before they choose to take the gamble, but also because those who have been taking a different kind of gamble by trying to predict the drop rates themselves can see how close they've come.

The transparency is a positive thing for consumers, and means that companies with remarkably low drop rates for their most popular items could see customers buying less of the drop boxes than before.