The ‘AAA’ Industry Can’t Be Trusted To Regulate Its Gambling Problem (The Jimquisition)

The ‘AAA’ Industry Can’t Be Trusted To Regulate Its Gambling Problem (The Jimquisition)

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Do I have to drink jewels?
‘Cause I’ll drink jewels,
I’ll drink jewels all day!
(“Born Depressed” by Drill Queen)
♪ Born different ♪
♪ Born innocent ♪
♪ Born perfect ♪
♪ I’m not like you ♪
♪ I’m a born lover ♪
♪ Born living and I know ♪
♪ I’m not like you ♪
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♪ Born knowledgeable ♪
♪ Born better ♪
– Jewel.
Anyway, I’m looking at my phone today.
Got this article up about
the risks of loot boxes.
A study has been published
in the July issue
of “Royal Society Open” magazine,
which talks about the startling risks
associated with loot boxes.
Those gambling mechanics
that the game industry
tells us aren’t gambling mechanics
even though they’re gambling mechanics
because they look and
behave exactly like gambling
and they are gambling, they’re gambling!
They’re gambling is
what they are, gambling.
They’re gambling.
“We would argue that regardless
“of the profitability
of the loot box trade,
“the risks associated with
them are worryingly high.”
According to this report,
what I am doing a reading of,
the risks with loot box
spending and problem gambling
are more than twice as
strong as the relationship
seen recently in a similarly
recruited adult population.
Now, any long time viewers of this show
will know that there are risks associated
with aggressive
monetization of video games.
I’ve talked to the victims,
I’ve talked to the targets,
I’ve talked to the people that
the game industry preys upon.
I’ve published their
stories, and it sickens me.
The video game industry,
the AAA mainstream video game industry,
makes me sick to my tummy wummy wummy!
Why do I have to undermine my own points
by saying things like tummy wummy wummy?
Anyway, that aside,
let’s talk about the video
game industry’s recent attempt
to wallpaper over the cracks
of the loot box debacle.
As loot boxes face a more
and more credible criticism
and the practice of in-game gambling
comes under investigation
across the world,
the video game industry has revealed
that major platform holders
are working on policies
that’ll require more disclosure.
In future publishers will be
required to reveal the odds
of winning on their little
premium poison boxes
with Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft
all working together to enforce it.
This announcement was made
by the Entertainment Software Association,
the game industry’s trade association
that specializes in
lobbying, astroturfing,
and incompetently leaking
the personal information
of thousands of E3 attendees.
“I’m pleased to announce this morning
“that Microsoft, Nintendo,
and Sony have indicated to ESA
“a commitment to new platform policies
“with respect to the
use of paid loot boxes
“in games that are developed
for their platform,”
said the ESA’s Michael Warnecke.
“Specifically, this
would apply to new games
“and game updates that
add loot box features.
“And it would require the
disclosure of the relative rarity
“or probabilities of obtaining
randomized virtual items
“in games that are available
on their platforms.”
Policies are expected to go
into effect by the end of 2020
and a number of major
publishers have agreed
to reveal their loot box odds by then.
Such companies include
Activision Blizzard,
Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts,
Take-Two Interactive,
Warner Brothers Interactive,
Ubisoft, and others.
A number of publishers have not
thus far committed to comply
including Gearbox, Square
Enix, Capcom, and THQ Nordic.
But certainly, in THQ Nordic’s case,
the company said it’s never
had loot boxes in its games
and doesn’t pan to
implement them in future.
The publishers who have
pledged their commitment
are certainly the ones notorious
for exploiting gambling mechanics.
Epic Games, for its part, has
already been making changes,
revealing the exact items
found inside loot boxes
in “Fortnite: Save the World”,
and promising to remove them
entirely from “Rocket League”.
That last move, the removal of them
entirely from Rocket League,
is the only move that’s
actually worth a shit.
The ESA may now express how pleased it is
to announce this extra transparency,
but it’s worth noting
that it’s come only after
the Federal Trade Commission got involved.
Amidst controversy and
criticism surrounding
the game industry’s
predatory business practices,
the FTC promised it would
start looking into loot boxes
which has borne fruit
with a recent workshop
titled “Inside the Game:
“Unlocking the consumer issues
surrounding loot boxes.”
Here the FTC learned about
video game monetization
from a variety of academics
and industry figures
and it was at this workshop where the ESA
was so pleased to make its announcement.
Before now however, the
ESA, which, by the way,
recently docks thousanded
of games media members,
has been pretty adamant
that in-game gambling
mechanics aren’t a problem.
In November 2018,
when the FTC first promised
to look into loot boxes,
the ESA preemptively
rushed to their defense,
seemingly way more
protective of loot boxes
than of people’s private data.
“Loot boxes are one way
that players can enhance
“the experience that video games offer,”
said the ESA at the time.
“Contrary to assertions,
loot boxes are not gambling.
“They have no real-world
value, players always receive
“something that enhances their experience
“and they are entirely
optional to purchase.
(comical giggling)
“They can enhance the experience
“for those who choose to use them,
“but have no impact on those who do not.”
Just the same weak, tired,
long debunked excuses
for loot boxes that
game industry defenders
have been pedaling for years with no plan
or stated intent to
tackle them whatsoever.
And yes, the ESA used
“enhance the experience”
that many times, fucking cretins.
Before then the ESA was even
more dismissive of concerns.
In May of 2018, the trade
association wrote off
in-game gambling criticism
as a mere over-reaction,
something it wasn’t planning
to take seriously at all.
“In the U.S., loot boxes are not gambling
“for more than the reason
I put here,” the ESA said,
referencing the same tired old bullshit.
“The other one is it’s not
converted to value in the world.
“It can only exist in the digital world”
No, that’s the premise of “Reboot”.
“That’s the component that many
“of these definitions look at.
“There’s not an exit path to turn that
“into something outside of the game.
“We have both of those reasons present,
“predominantly for loot boxes
“and in-game transactions
around this industry.
“So going to the one or two
isolated over-reactions,
“seeing how those over-reactions
“play to one or two governments,
“and then making that the standard
“and doing that industry-wide?
“That’s not going to be productive
“for the industry, or for gamers.”
In this statement, the ESA,
which cannot be trusted to
protect your private data,
also said that self-regulation
was the only viable solution,
adding “Let’s inform first,
“continue to self-regulate,
and move ahead that way.
“It’s worked great for us
over the last 20 years.
“That’s the prescription we
should use going forward.”
Yeah, self-regulation has worked great
for you over the last 20 years.
For you and you alone, game industry.
You see self-regulation
sounds great in theory,
but in practice it only really works
for the businesses doing the regulating.
Expecting a corporation to
affectively self-regulate
is like expecting Jason Voorhees to say,
“Oh, that’s enough murdered
teens for me tonight, thanks.
“I’m gonna have a sit
down and a sandwich.”
This shifty fucking industry
has proven time and time again
that it will do anything to make money
if it can get away with it.
It will indulge in any
toxic business model,
sink to any depth of avarice,
no matter how unethical,
and will only stop after
enough public outcry
makes such behavior untenable.
Something most clearly demonstrated
with the backlash to “Star
Wars Battlefront II”.
And the industry’s own regulatory bodies
are woefully, often
deliberately, defeasible.
The Entertainment Software Ratings Board
is the game industry’s self-regulation arm
when it comes to appropriately
age rating content.
And they have been just as dismissive
as the ESA in the past.
Also using the same pitifully
transparent excuses.
Despite this, the ESRB did eventually
try to cover the industry’s tracks,
once the political
climate around loot boxes
got a little bit too hot,
by adding an in-game purchases
content label for games
containing loot boxes, micro-transactions
and any other premium content
purchasable within the software.
It was an all encompassing move, however,
lumping together loot boxes
with other less
gambling-oriented transactions.
This obfuscating move was by design.
The ESRB’s stated reason
for lumping all transactions together
inadvertently betrayed
the sneaky motive at play.
“I’m sure you’re all asking
“why aren’t we doing something
more specific to loot boxes,”
said ESRB President Patricia Vance.
“We’ve done a lot of research
“over the past several weeks and months,
“particularly among parents.
“What we’ve learned is that
a large majority of parents
“don’t know what a loot box is.
“Even those who claim they do,
“don’t really understand
what a loot box is.
“So it’s very important for us
“to not harp on loot boxes per se,
“to make sure that we’re
capturing loot boxes,
“but also other in-game transactions.”
Quite how Vance thought this would make
the ESRB look justified is beyond me,
as it’s basically the ESRB admitting
they won’t explain things to people
who need that explanation the most.
I mean, we’re not explaining
what loot boxes are
because parents don’t
know what loot boxes are
is a hell of a stance to take,
but it effectively demonstrates
exactly what the ESRB is doing.
Deliberately failing to effectively inform
the public about in-game monetization.
Just offering a blanket label to cover
the game industry’s tracks
and provide the appearance of regulation,
without doing anything of
actual substance, note or use.
Very much like the ESA and
its new loot box disclosures,
the ESRB’s in-game purchases
label was only implemented
after years of willful
ignorance on the issue,
of hand waving concerns away
until the political
pressure got real enough
that it was time to put
on a show of proaction.
And even with the ESRB
going out of its way
to protect publishers’ interests,
those very same game publishers
are making a mockery of the effort.
Thanks to post-launch micro-transactions
adding premium currencies
weeks or months after launch,
companies like Activision
are getting their games rated
without the appropriate warnings,
totally undermining the very thing
that was instituted to cover their asses.
Activision gets to enjoy weeks
of suckering customers into its economy
before anyone realizes
that’s what’s happening.
And the ESRB ratings can’t reflect it,
because the ESRB doesn’t
know it’s coming either.
They can only digitally
re-rate it after the fact.
And, in the case of physical boxes,
those already out there can’t be amended.
“Crash Team Racing” could be
bought in a store right now
and the appropriate labeling
isn’t on the package
despite micro-transactions
getting added in.
I cannot get over how
fucking weaselly that is.
The in-game purchases
label was fucking designed
to protect publisher interests
and they still can’t help undermining it.
Even with the ESRB looking out for them,
they still can’t see past
their own greed-fueled
short term gains enough
to consider for a moment maybe
not fucking with the system
that’s designed to work in their favor.
I mean, how addicted to
being a sneaky rat fuck
do you have to be?
God dang it, Bobby!
That, and that alone, demonstrates
how woefully inefficient game
industry self-regulation is.
I’d almost call the regulation inept,
if I didn’t suspect that it’s doing
exactly what it’s meant to be doing.
Which, is to say, not very much.
EA was ahead of the curve on this one,
revealing “FIFA Ultimate
Team” prize odds as of 2018.
The odds themselves
showed just how brutally
in favor of Electronic Arts they were,
with the most desirable prizes
having a less than 1% chance of dropping.
But knowing the odds has never stopped
people with spending
addictions, problem gamblers
and it’s never stopped children.
The very people companies like EA
have been making their money from.
And, EA will continue to unethically
sucker money out of people with “FIFA”.
Which, by the by, is rated
suitable for young children,
which leads to stories of kids
cleaning out their parents’ bank accounts,
unless given more adult supervision
than is needed for “Wolfenstein”.
The fact that odds are disclosed
has done jack squat for families impacted
by the duplicitous nature of loot boxes.
Unlike with sticker
packs and trading cards,
which the industry loves
to compare to loot boxes,
video games are constantly updated
and publishers have 24/7
access to their end users.
Odds can always be shifted.
We already know that in-game
purchases are fiddled with,
thanks to companies
like Scientific Revenue,
which uses tactics like dynamic pricing
to alter digital storefronts
on a per player basis.
All with the goal of psychologically
manipulating people into spending money.
Given the inherently raptorial
nature of micro-transactions,
I am simply not one to trust
the game industry here on any level.
At what point have
publishers ever done anything
to deserve trust, especially by now,
when they’ve fucked so many people over
so many times over so many years.
Moreover, odds can
always be misrepresented.
For example in casinos, the common promise
of a 95% slot machine
payout can be misleading.
Not all slot machines have
the same odds of payout,
with some paying out 95%
and others paying out practically zero.
The casino just takes a
select sample of slot machines
and uses them to arrive at its
average chances of winning.
That’s just one way that
odds can be misrepresented.
But, at least at a casino
when you win something,
there’s financial value.
When you buy a Panini sticker pack
or a collectable card game pack,
you get a physical good that
could be traded or sold.
The industry loves to hide behind the fact
that you can’t benefit
financially from a loot box prize.
But what are they really admitting there?
They’re just saying that loot boxes
are like gambling, but shit.
And, as I’ve said in the past,
if I go to the Beau Rivage casino,
they’ve go that sweet crab buffet
with that sweet buffet crab.
I don’t even need to have
a go on the slot machines,
I’ll just head straight to the buffet
and eat all that crab,
thank you very much.
All crab all nice up in my tummy.
Sweet buffet crab is
better than loot boxes.
Every time.
Playing “Call of Duty” has never once
given me the sweet taste of crab.
Instead, it just makes me
feel like I’ve got crabs.
Odds disclosure is wallpaper over a crack,
a newspaper put down over
a puddle of cat piss.
It’s the illusion of something being done
without anything actually being done
to address the fact that gambling
is part of the AAA game experience now.
If something were to actually
solve the issue of loot boxes,
EA, Activision and their trash brethren
would be fighting it,
not pledging to comply
with it for appearances.
They’ve resisted any legitimate attempt
at regulation in the past.
And this self-regulatory grand-standing,
that’s just more resistance,
swaddled in the sheep’s
clothing of compromise.
Loot boxes are gambling.
Gambling, but shittier.
It’s gambling and should
be regulated as such.
“FIFA” has zero business
marketing itself toward kids,
not when it needs such
intense parental supervision.
By the very strict legal
definition of gambling
in most countries, loot boxes are not,
no, they’re not, technically gambling.
But, that’s all it is.
Game publishers are getting
off on a technicality.
That’s what they’re exploiting.
Psychologically and mechanically,
these things are not
different from slot machines.
And that’s why you never see EA,
Activision, the ESRB or the ESA
talk about the mechanical
implementation of loot boxes
or the psychological
impressions they make.
No, they sweep all that
shit under the rug.
They only stick to legal definitions,
weak comparisons to sticker albums
or the disingenuous claim
that it’s all just optional.
They do this because they
know damn fucking well
that loot boxes are comparable
to gambling in every way
except that strict technicality.
And, more than any other point,
odds disclosure isn’t
enough for the simple fact
that micro-transactions of any stripe
shouldn’t be in a paid
game to fucking begin with.
The game publishers raking
in billions of dollars
off the back of predatory business models
is wholly unethical and
that the very real harm
these sneakily incremental
purchases could inflict
is fucking abominable.
Loot box odds disclosure isn’t
enough because, ultimately,
premium loot boxes need
to fuck off and die.
The only regulation that matters
is regulation that
strangles the entire concept
until it’s nothing but a
twitching goddamn corpse.
Loot boxes are vile, they
should be eradicated,
the game industry has a
clear gambling problem
and it cannot be trusted
to regulate itself.
I realize not everyone takes me seriously
when I go on my tangents.
I mean, I don’t know what
about this whole setup
isn’t to be taken
seriously, but, for reals,
people dismiss me as rambling and ranting
and getting all angry over
the video game industry.
But, I truly do mean it.
I’ve said this in other videos,
I’ve said this in the addiction video,
that I really would like
people to still share
and put out there, because
of the testimonies in there
and the research in there,
you know, it needs to be seen.
And, as I’ve said there, I’ll say it here,
it’s not an act when I get furious
at the AAA game industry.
I know I throw in little catch phrases
and there’s some humor in what we do.
We like to have a laugh
on the show where we can,
a bit of levity, if you will,
but that doesn’t mean that I’m insincere.
I’m genuinely concerned about
what aggressive monetization
has done to the game industry,
to the quality of video games themselves.
And, more importantly, to
the people they target.
To the so-called whales,
to problem gamblers,
to people with spending
shopping addictions,
people with compulsive personalities.
Just all the people that
the video game industry
is raking in tens of
billions of dollars from.
I use to stress a lot that
I am not fully in favor
of government regulation
of the game industry,
but it is quite clear by now,
that self-regulation is a crock
of shit for the most part.
It’s something the industry
wants to do to avoid scrutiny,
to avoid accountability, to
avoid taking responsibility
for the harm that the industry is doing.
And that can’t carry on.
And at this point, I
just don’t give a shit
if the government steps in or not.
The industry had its chance,
it had multiple chances.
And these little things
they’re trying to do,
the in-game warning labels
that the industry is actually
just ignoring and undermining,
this new thing about
loot box disclosure odds,
it’s a farce, it’s a performance,
it’s grand standing and it means nothing.
It’s just the game industry
trying to cover its own tracks
so it can continue exploiting people,
preying upon people, generally
being a massive pile of wank.
And, at this point, if
they do get slapped down,
I won’t weep for them.
I won’t even bother getting a tiny violin,
they’re not even worth that much.
Thank god for me and all
that, but, more importantly,
thank god for people who are
still coming forward to me,
telling me about their
stories and their experiences
with aggressive video game monetization
and what it’s done to them.
I still have lots more,
many more stories to share in that regard,
and hopefully I’ll get to do that soon.
More testimonials, or another
“Jimquisition”, who knows?
I’ve got so much to share
and it’s heartbreaking and despicable
and at some point, one day,
the so-called AAA video game industry
is gonna have to answer for it.
I’ve just noticed one of the jewels
went into my actual water.
I’m literally drinking jewels.
(“Stress” by Jim’s Big Ego)
♪ Everybody’s thinking about me ♪

100 thoughts on “The ‘AAA’ Industry Can’t Be Trusted To Regulate Its Gambling Problem (The Jimquisition)”

  1. Loot boxes in card sales are gambling, too. Companies like WotC engage in similar fuckery(for example: box toppers), target the same groups of people, and are basically patient zero for all of this shit within the games industry.

  2. All in-software transactions should be lumped together, because whether they're gambling or pay-to-win, they do not belong in a video game. Video games at their core are about fair sportsmanship, not pure luck of the draw or payer-wins-all.

  3. Thank you jim watching u gives me hope and confidence to try to make my own YouTube channel about video game news in my life even when u say things like tummy wummy wummy

  4. Can someone tell me what those pink long nosed things are from, the ones Jim pops up on the screen when he talks about greedy CEOs and the like? I've seen them so many times on these videos and have always wondered.

  5. I like watching the videos and what you stand for, but not enough to sub. Mostly because I’ll watch the first few minutes then he’ll read something in an annoying snobby voice that turns me off.

  6. I am ever impressed at the perfect accuracy that Jim repeats the "lootbox are gambling mechanics" rambling verbatim ever since the first time he did it. Literally 100% word for word every time.

  7. Did you know that what some card games do is flood rares and ultra-rares with dud garbage cards to make the already incredibly rare cards rarer? Even revealing the odds doesn't truly reveal the odds as it is.

  8. I think this guy's question hits the nail right on the head.
    "So, should we take it then that… The response of your company would be that, a government would have to make a ruling and legislate against something before you'll take action?"

  9. No one wants regulation, the government has the clumsiest least efficient hands, but like many things at a certain point even the worst case scenario becomes better than the status quo.

  10. I notice the ESA are still flaunting the ESRB Privacy certified logo, after giving away all of those private details I don't think they should be and it just shows how useless the ESRB Privacy Certified actually is for them not demanding that the ESA remove the logo.

  11. The only difference between knowing the exact rewards and odds of a lootbox compared to gambling in a casino is that the casino kicks you out if they think you know the math. It's a small thing compared to the way publishers and game developers try to prey on and get children addicted to gambling, but it's just one more thing on the pile of examples of how lootboxes are designed to fuck over even more people than regular gambling in a casino.

  12. An infamous German dictator wanted to drink jewels as well, but someone terribly misunderstood his orders… the rest is history.

  13. Why isnt Magic the Gathering considered gambling also as you actually get physically items out of physical loot boxes that have monetary value?

  14. I apologize for getting off topic, but my dad had one of those troll looking hand puppets that Jim has on his podium. Can anyone tell me the name of them?

    P.S Jim, you have gained a subscriber, RESPECT FOR GOING HAM ON LOOTBOXES

  15. If you cannot defend a game and/or its mechanics based on its own merits then you've already fucked up. Comparisons and metaphors are almost always extreme examples for educational purposes, not defenses of something. To defend loot boxes they would need to answer the following questions and demands:

    1. What is the sole purpose of loot boxes?
    2. How are they harmless to children and vulnerable people?
    3. What will you do about the ACTUAL harms reportedly caused by loot boxes (with no deflection, just answer the question)?
    4. How are they different from gambling on a psychological and mechanical level… WITHOUT using comparisons to other media?
    5. Why are they justified in a market which already monetizes everything from toys and peripherals to DLC and even all the way to the direct incorporation of advertising and sponsorship deals in these games?
    6. If you cannot adequately answer question 4 then I'll give you a hint… release your spending habits publicly. Show us all of your revenue and expenses. I'm sure some REAL answers will come from that.

    If they cannot answer ALL of these questions adequately then they don't need, nor should they have lootboxes in their games. If anyone thinks I'm being too hard on them, good. I am being hard on them, because when real people are being hurt by these mechanics as have been demonstrated with DOZENS of stories and real data points by researchers, there is absolutely no excuse for them NOT to be asked hard questions. We should ALWAYS be willing to challenge powerful people who abuse that power.

  16. Quick question, Jim: Are you rewatching ReBoot these days? Because you literally referenced it in like 2 straight videos.

  17. Wish this could’ve been released a couple days later to see and include EA’s influence on the limited-time (very nice) exclusive event skins being offered for the next two weeks in Apex Legends.

  18. NGL, my internet's on the fritz, and literally the first part I was able to load was "my tummy wummy wummy." What an intro

  19. It's not gambling. And my biggest problem with this narrative is that you don't actually care about the supposed problems you speak of. It's become pretty clear after having followed the whole thing. Here are the reasons you push this narrative:
    – Being right
    – Having less shitty stuff that ruin your games
    So, myeah…

    The change needs to come from the consumer. I understand it's fun to see the "AAA" industry struggle though, I do somewhat enjoy it too.

  20. APEX Legends Broke Me Today.

    Years ago, I played Overwatch religiously. Got in a few hours every day and dropped $60 on lootboxes whenever a timed event was going on to get those cool skins. I know how awful lootboxes are, but I really wanted those exclusive skins. I thought 'I have a good job now, what's the harm?'… Looking back, I probably spent over $800 on Overwatch lootboxes… After that I moved to Fortnite so I could play with friends. I got caught up in the hype of checking the store every day to see what new skins were available. I didn't eve like the game, I just liked buying new skins… I know I spent more than $250 on V-Bucks.

    I guess I would be classified as a whale to the gaming industry. I am truly hooked on trying to get the coolest skins and items in games, even if it means spending hundreds of dollars. I am not a wealthy man, but I knew that since all I needed to do to solve my problem was throw some money at it, that's what I did.

    When APEX Legends came out. It was like a breath of fresh air. I have a friend that lives in another state and we keep in touch via video games. We played Overwatch, Paladins, Fortnite, Realm Royale… but nothing ever seemed to be… fun. It was just something to do while talking over our headsets. We adored APEX. From the team-based gameplay, to the quirky characters. It was wonderful to boot up the game and sit and play for a few hours, enjoying eachothers company AND a really fun game.

    Now, like I said, I tend to drop a lot of money on microtransactions. I know they're bad, I know that they're predatory… But I can't help it. Today in APEX, the Iron Crown event came out. It offered a new game mode as well as some exclusive skins and content. After looking through the Items, I was genuinely excited! The skins all looked amazing, and I couldn't wait to add them to my digital collection… But then I saw the cost of the Iron Crown Lootboxes: SEVEN DOLLARS. SEVEN DOLLARS! For a CHANCE to get one of the 24 exclusive items. Not to mention, they have an exclusive Heirloom item for Bloodhound that you can only buy (for $35 or 3,500 coins) once you unlock the 24 other items… That's a grand total of $203 if you want everything. Sure, the game allows you to unlock the Iron Crown boxes in-game… But you can only earn 2 by doing challenges, basically forcing you to purchase the Lootboxes if you wanted something specific.

    This is the absolute WORST I have seen any in-game storefront. Why can't I just BUY the skins I want? Why do I have to spend hundreds of dollars for a CHANCE to get what I want? I loved playing APEX… I didn't even mind buying the legendary skins I wanted in the shop from time to time. But this… this is despicable. I can't even boot up the game anymore for fear of purchasing even a SINGLE lootbox until this event is over. I know exactly how it will go… I'll think "Well, I'll buy just ONE. Maybe I'll get something I want and then I won't get any more." But that's not how it works. I'm going to think "what's the harm?" and end up spending my grocery money on Limited-Time exclusive content. Because of these predatory lootboxes, I can't even play my favorite multiplayer game with my best friend anymore… I can't afford to keep doing this…

  21. Hey Jim great Work on this and past videos, I am a huge fan.
    On the loot boxes well a gamer might as well go and by a lottery ticket at least you get real cash and not BS. I wish gamers would stop buying them, and actually stop buying future titles from these Companies. I have actually stopped buying games for a year and went back to old titles, and enjoy past titles more then today's game. Also I have actually saved $7, 344 Dollars, this is money that would have gone to these companies but went towards enriching my life, so I thanked these Companies for their Shady and Scummy Practices.

  22. The gaming industry regulating it's own gambling issue reminds me of when I convinced my much older brother to answer the phone when my teacher said they were going to have to talk to my parents about me not doing homework. Brother answered, spoke to my teacher, teacher was unaware of the tomfoolery, and I failed that class.

  23. I coulda swore that slot machines were optional. In fact i coulda swore that gambling in and of itself was optional. Fuck me. I might get arrested because i havent been in a casino in years.

  24. Whatever happened to when, you know, you just bought the game and that was it? No loot boxes or microtransactions, just you and the game?

  25. You made me realize something, lootboxes are not gambling UNLESS they can be traded for real money provided by an official game channel (no shady grey market), like PUBG ones or the very popular CS Go ones that act as steam items that can be traded for steam money (still not completely gambling because that steam money can't be retrieved IRL, but close enough). However in games like Overwatch, where the prizes can't be traded or transferred in any way, they're not true gambling as it lacks one of the main elements that make real casino gambling more addicting, which is the expectation of making more money. Now I'm not defending loot boxes or micro-transactions, they ruined a big part of gaming for me, but to be fair it makes you sound hyperbolic and exaggerated when simply calling them "Gambling", when we're not short for better words. In those cases I'd call it simply "Randomized Digital Goods". IMO games should be labeled with any form of Micro-transaction, with an extra label for Randomized Digital Goods, those with gambling problems should suffice with that kind of warning. A further explanation might be necessary for fathers in text explaining the labels, where it should be made more or less clear that the items purchased in-game are absolutely worthless and will dissappear when the game services get discontinued, which can happen at any time (and essentially an absolute waste of money).

  26. What if we come up for a new name for Loot Boxes to help show the industry how we feel and maybe help those who are unaware of what they are about. I am thinking Sucker Boxes but maybe something like Gambling Boxes. I am sure someone came come up with something truly appropriate and off-putting.

  27. So by the end of 2020 SOME of the companies are finally going to start FOLLOWING THE LAW. Gaming companies are so nice, ech?

  28. It's funny this video comes out a day before EA and Respawn release their most egregious lootbox event yet. For those of you who don't play Apex Legends, today(Aug 13th, 2019) Respawn released the much anticipated Solo Queue mode for their Battle Royale game Apex Legends. The mode will only be around for two weeks. To go along with the trial run of solo queue, they introduced an event that "rewards" players a bunch of cool skins and what have you, and even a new heirloom item. Typically Apex Legends lootboxes ran you 1 dollar for 1 box, or 10 bucks for a bundle of 10. This event has hiked the price up to SEVEN DOLLARS PER BOX! That's 70 DOLLARS U.S. for a bundle of ten! And not only that, but you can only get 2 lootboxes for free through the challenges in the event over the course of it's two week run. Everything else you HAVE to buy the boxes. $203 U.S.D. in order to get everything, or something like $168 dollars if you manage to get the two free ones. Once you've spent the 150+ dollars to unlock all the skins in the challenge, you FINALLY unlock the PRIVILEGE to spend another 35 dollars on the heirloom item itself.

    It's called the "Iron Crown" event, but people on reddit have taken to calling it the "Iron Whale" event. The sheer greed is absurd. And the sad thing is, I'm starting to not be surprised by this shit anymore.

  29. What should happen is that inappropriate labeling should be recalled, at the expense of the publisher. Like its done in every other fucking industry.

  30. Bobby looks like a Gremilin post midnight food and a pig fucked.Gremlin really is the best way I can describe that man.

  31. I don't think anyone who has watched your videos think you're anything but serious. Keep fighting the good fight Jim, this filthy shit needs to go.

  32. Spread the word to parents that many big AAA games like FIFA, Madden etc have high levels of gambling mechanics.

    Then let parenting nature take its course.

  33. Just as how 'loot box' openers are exposed as shills, definitely would finally love to see something we all know and suspect for quite some time.

    Up next shills and paid trolls in video games comment section and their marketing tactics exposed.

  34. Jim could you put a bit of a low pass filter on your "annoying AAA voice"? You were talking in such a high pitch Today my ears hurt.

  35. I love your tummy wummy wommy (is this how it is written?) AND it makes your points just stronger and more wummy, really!

  36. People get angry over your rants!? What about you though? I love your videos and everytime you discuss these impending issues; it makes me happy to know someone else is aware and wants to share. However it just must make you furious seeing all this happen before it even happened and trying to warn people; and they just shrug you off like the homeless person with the 'end is nigh' sign.

    Please keep this up and thank gods for you.

  37. While the items you acquire have no real value, the account containing these items have, and sale of accounts is a pretty common practice in some countries.

  38. All that talk about how purely digital goods have no real value, no ability to earn a real buck and all that… Couldn't…. Couldn't that also be used to argue for digital piracy? I mean, you're not stealing anything of value. Heck, you aren't even stealing anything, you're duplicating it. And it has no real life value, so what's the harm?

  39. Is this videogame gambling is real gambling study just another verison of the 'video game violence is real violence' crap?

  40. 'Acting' has different approaches. When referencing to you, Jim, it's not you're "pretending". It's exactly the contrary : you act in the sense you take actions. And your work as far as I can tell is to denounce any kind of schemes, manipulations we're directly or indirectly facing and suffering due to the game industry decisions. So, to me you're maybe visually showing it like a show or a theater, with accessories and acting in that sense, but you're also revealing what's going on. And that's no joke. And what you trully think is precisely and literally what's concerning everyone. I wanted to know if there were some equivalent channels like yours in French my main language, but I'm sadly noticing that's a not the case…
    FIFA is the best seller #1 physical game in France for years…

  41. Here's another thing about loot boxes I don't get. Why are the odds so shit?

    Surely paying out guaranteed legendaries every 5 or so goes would make people more likely to purchase. It isn't like a glut of legendaries costs the publishers anymore than a load of useless items, so why not? It isn't like a casino having odds in favour of the punter rather than the house.

    Hell, they'd probably even hook more 'whales' with a tasty bait.

    Maybe it's just because these loot box merchants are so vile they can't even bring themselves to give the poor suckers roped in by their malevolent surprise mechanics the illusion of winning, and it is an illusion because what is won is of no real-world value, by their own admittance. It'd even do away with the secondary markets that do give the items monetary value because no one would need to buy them if they weren't so bloody rare.

    So why such shit odds for worthless, digital prizes?

  42. You know that they won't do it. Then they will get sued over it. They will play dumb in the court. The court will roll over and be welp they don't know anything. And the triple A devs will keep doing it. Then it will be doing it again. 'Loot Boxes' is about as dumb as DLC and expansions. Its another word that they can use to NOT finish a game. Triple A games are useless and should be taken down, and it has been the indie game devs that have and will always be the good leg that the industry can stand on. And Triple A is the half of the body that is cancer that started in the other leg. Rant over.

  43. yea, that may all be true, but what are we to do about it? Really, it feels like we're rather powerless in this fight. even if everyone who sees the videos actually cares enough to sign a or whatever that would still be far from enough to convince the game studios to do anything that they didn't already want to.

  44. It's really funny to me how game devs have no problem with selling a percentage of players an "enhanced experience", meanwhile acting like that doesnt make the base experience less rewarding.
    The fact that microtransactions "enhance the experience" for those who pay, only dilutes the baseline experience for those who arent willing to pay. They're acting like "enhancing the experience" doesnt effect the baseline experience for unpaid players.

  45. Ppl are dumb and self absorbed. Wealthy ppl want awards with minimum effort. Poor people want FTP. The middle is me from which I’m hanging up games pretty soon due to Creativity being replaced by greed and wokeness

  46. no…but a full spandex dance show might do it..DANCE ..DANCE FOR OUER AMUSEMENT JIM!
    its tragic how dumb the people that clings to the goverment positions ment to step in when gambling is 'snuck' into anything is….and if any of those people wants to say 'we arent dumb' …that only means they are corupt becosue , ye…asking the criminal to police themselfs that works so good dont it ? so , whats it gona be dumb..or corupt ?….thats what I would pay royaly to see a live feed no mercy your not leaving this room interview of.

  47. You could set up an experiment that wuold send this message home to legislators. Have them walk into the congressional hall, and instead of having an assigned seat.. let them pay $1 to spin a wheel that assigns them a seat. And, some of the seats are in the nosebleed section while others are right up front (prominent). The odds of getting better seats exponentially decreases the better the seat is (eg: 50% chance to get nosebleed, 25% chance to get so-so seat, 15% chance to get better seat, 10% chance to get prominent seat). If they get a seat they like, someone else can displace them by spinning and getting that seat (b/c, lootboxes in games are about getting an advantage, so it comes down to whomever is willing to spend the most money to get and keep their advantage). Let congress deal with that situation for as long as it takes for them to realize how fucked up it is, and they'll get some bills passed quickly.

  48. It's important to note that the "regulatory entities" for the gaming industry are sponsored by and funded by the gaming industry. EG: ESRB was setup by the gaming industry to "regulate" video game content-to-customer (ie: ratings system) in order to proactively avoid real legislation by governments. But, the ESRB is funded by the video game industry. As such, it's going to do whatever the industry wants. That's why when loot boxes became a thing, the game industry told the ESRB to say "loot boxes are not a problem".. basically chiming in on an issue the ESRB is not designed to regulate, but the industry wanted to use them as a knee-jerk fire extinguisher to try to stop grumblings. Sort of a "hey, my friend fred here is paid by us to referee soccer matches, so let's have him chime in on all this gangland crime going on..oh, looks like fred doesn't think the gangland crime is an issue." (Fred is in no way an expert on that other topic, so using him for such is complete bullshit).

    So, that's why you can't trust the "regulatory entities" of the gaming industry…

    1) they're created by and paid for by the gaming industry, and as such, they're going to do whatever the industry tells them to.. which includes lying and supporting unsavory practices

    2) the gaming industry has been using them as sock puppets to try to squelch things the entity was not designed to over see (ESRB was not designed to oversee loot boxes, but gaming industry was more then happy to toss them out into the spotlight to say loot boxes werent' bad, b/c they wanted to make it seem like some kind of impartial third-party "authority figure" was chiming in. When actually the ESRB is a sock puppet for the industry.)

  49. … Parents don't know what loot boxes are… The primary reason they're concerning to the ESRB relating to child use of loot boxes… Is the reason they're not informing parents exactly what's happening?

    … What? They're not even trying to hide it… As they try to hide it… What?

  50. Someone make a kids game and over time start adding drugs, sex and microtransactions to the game over time. This would be a glaring example of Jims valid point to everyone and show how shit this system is.

  51. I finally looked at what I've spent on one of my games. In a little over 700 days of playing. I've spent over $900……. I hate myself. I'm still playing the game I feel like I have to in order to justify the cost. In order to "pay off" my debt to them. Even now, it is so hard to not jump at the "exclusive" deals available for a "limited time". I have to keep telling myself that I don't NEED it even though I WANT it. I know my story isn't one that involves bankruptcy and I could totally afford spending that 4 times over without it being a massive hit to me, but it almost makes it worse. I tell myself that I can afford $9.99 for this or that. Those new items are totally worth the $29.99. That $79.99 would help me get a leg up on the competition and keep me playing with the big dogs. And the fact that I could technically afford it makes it that much harder to resist.

  52. If you know the odds, and you know how much you pay for a chance to get something, you can make a stand-in number for how much that thing you're getting should be worth. I'd predict the stand-in values for the stuff in lootboxes would be absurd.

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