Apple updates App Store guidelines for “loot boxes”

Loot boxes made big headlines in 2017 when EA released Star Wars Battlefront II and received a huge amount of backlash for including a very robust loot box system that made player progression painfully slow for gamers who didn’t spend money. There was a big uproar in the gaming community, EA’s stocks took a hit, and an international conversation started about the morality and implications of loot boxes in games.

I think it’s good that Apple is trying to protect its customers, or at least make the companies disclose the odds.



  • rick gregory

    As I said on the post, the problem with loot boxes is twofold. First, that if you pay for the game you should get access to the game and reasonable features, including progression, from the upfront payment and playing normally (i.e. not grinding for hundreds of hours). Second, they give random rewards and encourage people to gamble more and more. Most of us can be reasonable, but that reward mechanism can be very addictive and damaging to some. To me, they’re unethical.

    Want to make money? Provide me the game and a handful of content for free, the rest for an IAP. You can even sell more levels for additional IAP if you’re decent about it (first purchase gets you the basic levels, another gets a side mission, etc).

    • Rachel

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  • So glad this shit didnt exist when I was really into gaming. Instead game devs focused on making games fun rather than rigging them for microtransactions. Crazy, huh.

  • DF

    The standout culprit for this on iOS is ‘Star Trek Timelines’, where the loot boxes (the Portal pulls) are absolutely essential to getting anywhere (and also very clearly rigged, as is the game itself).