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Blizzard publishes Overwatch’s loot box probabilities in accordance with Chinese law

by Ron Duwell | May 8, 2017May 8, 2017 7:00 am PST

Overwatch and multiplayer games with loot boxes like Dota 2 and League of Legends have taken a hold of China’s gaming population, and the country has cracked down on the practice through legal means.

Late last year, China passed a law likening loot boxes to gambling using the logic that players are paying money for the chance to win in-game content. In China, slot machines and other gambling games are forced to reveal the odds people have at winning in an effort to battle addiction. With these two laws combined, Blizzard and other loot box game publishers have been forced to reveal the chances gamers have at winning each tier of prizes.

The law went into effect at the beginning of May, and Blizzard turned up as one of the first to comply. It published the probabilities in Mandarin on its Chinese website, revealing that each and every loot box contains a Rare blue item. Epic items, which are purple, turn up every 5.5 boxes, and Legendary items, which are orange, turn up every 13.5 boxes.

More companies to follow

Of course, while the law is currently exclusive to China, the information is not, and a quick translation is all that’s needed to spread this information throughout the world. If a game with loot boxes wants to operate in China, and honestly, skipping out on its enormous market would be a silly business mistake, then it will have to comply and reveal its odds.

Expect revealing these odds to become standard practice somewhere down the line. It could possibly even become a marketing tool just to lure in gamers with the promises of greater odds right in front of their faces.

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Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...