Google to require Android apps, games to disclose loot box odds

MANILA, Philippines – In a bid to add transparency to gambling mechanics in games and other types of applications, Google will now require Android game makers and app developers to disclose the odds for loot boxes and other random virtual item generation schemes they might put in their titles.

Android Police reported on Thursday, May 30, a change to the Google Play Store policies for payments under its Monetization subcategory. It now reads, "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 change in wording on Android's policies reflects the current environment and pressure being applied by countries against loot box mechanics in games.

Countries such as Belgium, China, and the US are taking steps to regulate or otherwise ban gambling-styled mechanics in video games. Meanwhile, game companies such as Epic Games with its popular Fortnite title, are also under fire from families who've been burned badly by loot boxes and spending for them.

Google is catching up to Apple in this regard, as the iPhone maker changed its policies similarly in 2017.  –

Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.