Soon, mobile gamers on the Google's Android platform will see the odds of getting items from loot boxes.
The Mountain View company recently updated its Play Store policy that requires app developers and publishers to be more transparent regarding users' chances of gaining items from paid in-game lotteries.
Loot Box Odds
"Apps offering mechanisms to receive randomized virtual items from a purchase (i.e. 'loot boxes') must clearly disclose the odds of receiving those items in advance of purchase," the description reads.
With that in place, gamers will know exactly what their chances are in getting in-game items when they purchase loot boxes and the like.
This update comes hot on the heels of when U.S. Senator Josh Hawley sought for a bill that would prohibit games from selling loot boxes and using "pay-to-win microtransactions" targeted at kids. This bill was eventually introduced as the Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act.
Games such as Overwatch and FIFA have been facing criticism over its loot boxes, particularly in Belgium where such practices of selling virtual consumables that yield randomized items have been made illegal. In the country, Nintendo also had to pull out the Android and iOS games Fire Emblem: Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp from the market since they both violated local regulations.
Sexual Content And Hate Speech
Google is also becoming more strict when it comes to sexual content and hate speech in Play Store apps.
Moving forward, depictions of "nude or minimally clothed" are no longer allowed. By "minimally clothed," it means clothing that would not be "acceptable in an appropriate public context." Sex acts or sexually suggestive poses are also forbidden, as well as content that depicts "sexual aids and fetishes" and "lewd or profane."
Meanwhile, regarding hate speech, Google says that "assertions intended to prove that a protected group is inhuman, inferior, or worth of being hated" are banned. It also has in its sights apps that "contain theories about a protected group possessing negative characteristics" and any content that attempt to encourage users to think that people who belong to a protected group should be "hated or discriminated against" just for being part of it.
In light of these, the company seems to be making all of these changes to make its platform more friendly toward young users.