Xbox Game Studios Loot Box Policies
At Microsoft, our goal is to create great games and gaming experiences for everyone, wherever they play – on console, PC, or mobile devices. We want players to get the most value from our Xbox Game Studio games, which is why we invested in innovations like backward compatibility and in-home console streaming. We also want to keep our games fresh and to offer new experiences, including offering players the choice to buy new content and consumable items in their favorite games. In some instances, our business models allow for these items to be made available for customers to purchase, but we do not singularly determine success on these transactions. Our success depends on giving players great value, great experiences and earning long term trust.
Loot boxes are one of the many items we offer for sale in our games. Like trading cards, when you purchase a loot box, you know that you will receive a virtual item of value, but you don’t know exactly which item you will receive. Loot boxes have been the focus of debate because they contain an element of chance. We know that many of our customers like the element of chance in their gameplay and we want to deliver the best value to gamers who choose to buy loot boxes. We also want to be transparent about how Xbox Game Studios offers these items in our games. For all of our Xbox Game Studio games, starting with games released back in 2019, we will apply the following principles:
- Players always receive fair value. Players will receive a fair minimum value for all loot box purchases in our games. Every loot box will provide a virtual item that has an in-game worth or value equal to or greater than the amount paid.
- Items in loot boxes can always be earned through play. All items available through paid loot boxes in our games will also be available through unpaid opportunity by gameplay (i.e. grinding).
- Content probability disclosure. Where loot box items are offered for purchase within our games, players will be told the probability of obtaining each category of possible items (e.g. 80% for a “common” item, 15% for a “rare” item, and 5% for an “epic” item).
- Purchase disclosures. Our games will disclose, at the point of purchase or download, that they offer in-game purchases.
- No pay to play in premium games. For purchased-to-own games, players will not be required to make additional purchases to play the base game. Expansions, DLC, and special content may require additional purchase.
- We won’t use the information you share with us to reduce your odds. We will not use a player’s personal or gameplay information to negatively impact the odds or results of receiving a valuable loot box item. This information, if used, would only be used to enhance the opportunity of a player, e.g., the possible items received may be geared toward what a player needs at a given time in the game or to prevent duplicates where the duplicate item has no added value.