South Korea Fines Three Companies $1 Million For Deceptive Loot Box Odds
The South Korean Fair Trade Commission has fined three South Korean games developers about $1 million for misrepresenting the odds of players obtaining valuable in-game items through their in-game loot boxes.
According to the Korean Herald, the country’s largest games developer, Nexon Korea received the biggest fine of about $890,000 for deceiving customers over the chances of winning virtual prizes via loot boxes in Counter Strike Online 2 and Sudden Attack. The commission also said Nexon failed to inform customers of their right to withdraw in-game purchases in the game.
Also fined were NextFloor, the creator of mobile game Destiny’s Child, and Netmarble, which publishes Ys Online and Star Wars: Force Arena, for similar transgressions. The FTC ordered all three companies to revise the way they promote and disclose odds in the future.
Loot boxes have become one of the most controversial features of online gaming. The loot boxes contain in-game items such as weapons or other items. However, gamers consider some items to be more valuable than others. Critics say that since the items in loot boxes are unidentified until they are purchased, players are essentially gambling on their contents when they purchase or trade them.