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Star Trek Online Forum » General Discussion » Regulation May Alter MMO Landscape - Lockboxes anyone?

10 posts found
  ShardWarrior

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/18/11
Posts: 296

 
OP  12/04/12 12:40:32 PM#1

Interesting article http://seekingalpha.com/article/611721-regulation-may-alter-mmo-landscape-part-1

"On Gree properties, as with many other online games utilizing micro transactions, customers buy mystery packages that, when opened, reveal virtual objects worth little to a lot depending on their rarity. Shares in Gree slid 23% after the specific virtual game mechanic known as "kompu gacha" ("complete gotcha") was ruled in violation of Japanese law. Other developers using the mechanic, and likely to see an impact on their game revenues, include Konami, Klab, Namco Bandai (NCBDF.PK), Sega, and Zynga (ZNGA). The ban has not yet gone into effect but is expected to shortly."

This "Kompu Gacha" mechanic sound familiar to those polluted with Locboxes in STO?  Here's to hoping this starts a trend in other countries. 

 

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10942

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

12/04/12 12:43:51 PM#2

I don't see this happening in the U.S. or Europe. Maybe some countries in Europe. Gaming just isn't regulated the same way in the West as it is in the East. To my knowledge, it's not really regulated at all.

I wonder what percentage of income these companies get from the "Gotcha" items. Some of these games may not be able to survive without it. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, so long as new games come along to replace them with better content.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  User Deleted
12/04/12 12:53:41 PM#3

Nice. Hope it catches on.

  ShardWarrior

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/18/11
Posts: 296

 
OP  12/04/12 1:23:02 PM#4
Originally posted by lizardbones

I don't see this happening in the U.S. or Europe. Maybe some countries in Europe. Gaming just isn't regulated the same way in the West as it is in the East. To my knowledge, it's not really regulated at all.

I wonder what percentage of income these companies get from the "Gotcha" items. Some of these games may not be able to survive without it. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, so long as new games come along to replace them with better content.

MMOs may not be regulated, but online gambling can be and is in many countries.  If you do some historical background reading on lockboxes in STO, you will find that some folks make the comparison to lockboxes and gambling. 

 

Just by my own personal observation, and I think you can find evidence to this on your own, Cryptic/PWE make a very good chunk of change on selling these lockboxes.  While generally not bad, STO has become totally polluted with them.  This is what the author of the posted article says would happen - companies make so much off these kinds of items that all they want to do is keep making the lockboxes rather than real content for the game.

  Zekiah

Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 2541

Hype (noun)
1. to trick; gull.
2. exaggerated publicity; hoopla.
3. swindle, deception, or trick.

12/04/12 1:30:22 PM#5
Originally posted by ShardWarrior
Originally posted by lizardbones

I don't see this happening in the U.S. or Europe. Maybe some countries in Europe. Gaming just isn't regulated the same way in the West as it is in the East. To my knowledge, it's not really regulated at all.

I wonder what percentage of income these companies get from the "Gotcha" items. Some of these games may not be able to survive without it. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, so long as new games come along to replace them with better content.

MMOs may not be regulated, but online gambling can be and is in many countries.  If you do some historical background reading on lockboxes in STO, you will find that some folks make the comparison to lockboxes and gambling. 

Exactly. It is gambling.

"Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." - Noam Chomsky

  Rohn

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/02/08
Posts: 3758

12/05/12 5:09:37 PM#6
Originally posted by ShardWarrior
Originally posted by lizardbones

I don't see this happening in the U.S. or Europe. Maybe some countries in Europe. Gaming just isn't regulated the same way in the West as it is in the East. To my knowledge, it's not really regulated at all.

I wonder what percentage of income these companies get from the "Gotcha" items. Some of these games may not be able to survive without it. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, so long as new games come along to replace them with better content.

MMOs may not be regulated, but online gambling can be and is in many countries.  If you do some historical background reading on lockboxes in STO, you will find that some folks make the comparison to lockboxes and gambling. 

 

Just by my own personal observation, and I think you can find evidence to this on your own, Cryptic/PWE make a very good chunk of change on selling these lockboxes.  While generally not bad, STO has become totally polluted with them.  This is what the author of the posted article says would happen - companies make so much off these kinds of items that all they want to do is keep making the lockboxes rather than real content for the game.

 

And yet, they just put out an entire Season with new content, which didn't cost anyone a dime to get access to, which makes the assertion that they aren't interested in putting out new content laughable.

Fact is, STO is probably one of the most accessible games out there in terms of free to play content and systems.  Compared to the limitations imposed by other F2P models, STO gives away a lot more for free than most.

While I'm not personally a huge fan of the lockboxes, I'm even less of a fan of gamers trying to tell others how they should be allowed to spend their own money.  The issue has been blown WAY out of proportion.

Hell hath no fury like an MMORPG player scorned.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 6022

12/05/12 5:39:59 PM#7
Originally posted by Zekiah
Originally posted by ShardWarrior
Originally posted by lizardbones

I don't see this happening in the U.S. or Europe. Maybe some countries in Europe. Gaming just isn't regulated the same way in the West as it is in the East. To my knowledge, it's not really regulated at all.

I wonder what percentage of income these companies get from the "Gotcha" items. Some of these games may not be able to survive without it. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, so long as new games come along to replace them with better content.

MMOs may not be regulated, but online gambling can be and is in many countries.  If you do some historical background reading on lockboxes in STO, you will find that some folks make the comparison to lockboxes and gambling. 

Exactly. It is gambling.

Actually it's not gambling.  There is no cash payout if you win which is what a lot of gambling laws are based on.  If there was real gambling going on you can bet that countries and states would be looking to tax the hell out of it.  One that purchases a locked box does get virtual goods in return regardless of whether or not they get what they were really looking for.

At worst I see online gaming companies having to ensure that the payout is, at a minimum, at least the value of the least valued payout.  In the US I don't see anything like that happening at all and the Japanese market isn't a strong influence in the MMO industry compared to China, Korea, the United States, and Europe.  Maybe if Korea, China, Europe, or the US change their policy we might see some change, but I doubt this will influence the industry.

Curse you AquaScum!

  ShardWarrior

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/18/11
Posts: 296

 
OP  12/06/12 9:07:24 AM#8

 


 

Originally posted by Torvaldr

Actually it's not gambling.  There is no cash payout if you win which is what a lot of gambling laws are based on.  If there was real gambling going on you can bet that countries and states would be looking to tax the hell out of it.


 


To be more accurate, in terms of real world law, it is not gambling "yet". There are many countries, the USA included, that are investigating how to tax the value of virtual assets. You can find information regarding this on your own. The reward may not be a cash payout, but it does have some real world monetary value. The item of contention at present is that players themselves do not "own" these virtual goods, so they technically cannot be claimed as assets. However, nothing is preventing players (eg. gold farmers) from selling them for real world cash and turning a profit.

The Kompu Gatcha was considered gambling in Japan and I do not believe you will see this being allowed in other countries.

  RandomDown

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/12
Posts: 147

12/06/12 9:13:30 AM#9
The reason it works in some places is that it isn't defined as gambling under the law because the value of the lockbox/chest/whatever is usually similar to the price of a key, or that it is not rewarding you strictly in money depending on your luck. In Japan for example, gambling for money is illegal. That is why in Pachinko parlors those metal balls can be exchanged for trinkets and such that you take elsewhere to...you could say pawn for real money.
  dalewj

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/24/12
Posts: 72

12/06/12 9:14:16 AM#10

Entropian Universe went through this scare about 5-7 years ago.  They made changes in the game that showed that pure cash was not being 'Casino'd' in the game.  Basicily if everything is given with basic value, Markup of the item in an auction or swap is no the fault of the game and can't be considered gambling.  It's the users making decisions to spend ingame money to buy things, not players playing for cash.

 

And yes the US government has had this conversation many times.

 

--Dale>

HomePage/Gaming Blog - http://dalewj.com . MMORPGer - Current game: http://AfterWorld.ru .
Author of Diaries of Afterworld- http://www.jconsult.com/afterworld and the Outside Sci-Fi series- http://www.jconsult.com/outside