Apple has announced a new guideline for games coming to its App Store in regards to microtransactions. In a new policy, Apple will now require games on its App Store that feature microtransactions and loot boxes to disclose the probability of winning a certain loot or item.
You can find the change on Apple's website where the company writes:
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.
If this policy sounds familiar, that's because it's similar to anti-gambling regulations in China that also require games with random loot boxes to disclose the odds of winning certain items.
Apple is just one company however, and while it has a massively popular platform, Google hasn't announced a similar plan for its Play Store. This could lead to disparities in loot box odds between the two ecosystems.
However, Apple is arguably the most powerful name in mobile gaming thanks to its massive user base, and favored position among mobile app developers. So it's actually a pretty big deal for Apple to be leading the charge against microtransactions in the mobile space, especially as the controversy around them continues.
In recent months, microtransactions have shifted from a consumer issue, to a potential regulatory issue by some United States lawmakers. If Apple and the companies in charge don't step in, there's now a chance the governments will.
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