RuneScape players accuse new lockbox promo of promoting gambling to children

RuneScape announced yesterday a new promo that works in conjunction with its existing Treasure Hunter system. It’s a bit of a lockbox system, with the caveat that you can claim one to two keys to open said lockboxes for free every day just for logging in, depending on your sub status in the hybrid MMO. If you want more, then you have to buy them with cash.

The promotion, however, changes things up. “With every Key you use, you have a chance to earn a bonus prize on the Prize Pool interface at the top of the screen,” says Jagex. “Claim that extra prize immediately, or use more Keys to get a chance at more, rarer, prizes. Every Key you use will apply one of two actions: add an extra prize to your pool, or remove all prizes gathered so far from it. The longer you hold out without claiming, the more extra prizes you can claim and the rarer your prize pool collection will get. But be careful – you could lose it all!”

That’s prompted players who normally don’t find the treasure hunter lockboxes particularly problematic to flock to Reddit with a multitude of complaints ranging from accusations that the promo is rigged to concerns that the game is shamelessly promoting gambling to a game chiefly aimed at kids.

Jagex has said it’s listening to the feedback.

“We’ve been trying a varying amount of different things with Treasure Hunter over the past few months (Oddments, Prize Pool etc.), in order to get a better idea of the direction we should be taking,” JagexSayln posted on Reddit. “For us, Prize Pool is an additional bundle of prizes on top of what you already get from Treasure Hunter – with a clear risk/reward mechanic, however that baseline of prizes never changes, nor is risked in the process. Obviously the vast majority of you are unhappy with this direction, and I’ll take this on board and be sure to share it in the next retrospective the Live Events team has.”

Source: Official site, Reddit. Thanks to Concerned Player.
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24 Comments on "RuneScape players accuse new lockbox promo of promoting gambling to children"

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Jeff

I dunno I have become pretty jaded to the whole ‘Think of the children” argument. These vanguards of mortality will give these virtue signaling speeches in ear shot of anyone who writes a blog or moderates a forum, but if you listen to them when chances of being quoted are slim to none, they are ranting about how much they hate “whales” and “rich pricks”

It’s kinda like a kid I knew in High School who would go into an almost homicidal rage every time he saw another kid in a nicer car than what he was driving.

I mean just look at ESO, there is a group of folks that basically mean girls anyone they see on an apex mount, it’s ridiculous.

Pay to win seems to have ever moving goal post, and I don’t think anyone that complains about this actually gives two shits about the children, they get pissed when someone has the spare capitol to blow a couple hundred on crates or a house.

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Sray

I think we’re in the catch-22 phase of lockboxes: at this point, publishers probably don’t want to put them in (lockboxes tend to damage long term loyalty because they reek of trying to wring out every last cent), but they’re publicly held corporations and can’t just walk away from the revenue because of the difficulty of exaining why you’re leaving money on the table (despite the fact that Take Two managed to explain it for GTAO). Thus they’re intentionally barreling at top speed down the highway that leads to the legislation that allows them to stop because they’re forced to.

Before you start making tinfoil hat comments, that’s exactly what alcohol and tobacco companies did with advertising: forced government legislation to stop/restrict them because they couldn’t do it themselves (because the other guys were/would continuing).

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Shiro Madoushi

Get them addicted to gambling while they are young. Then they can move on to games like ArcheAge.

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Paragon Lost

Just doing what companies have always done…market towards children. Future business ya know, ya gotta train em early to be more receptive later on. :)

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Paragon Lost

Odd, I don’t usually get double posts. lol. Ah well.

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Sray

I saw the double post and tried to give you a double like, but it didn’t work, so I figure the double should evaporate soon.

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Paragon Lost

Yeah it’s bizarre, because I didn’t notice any lag when I went to post that. So the whole double post is confusing me. lol Ah well.

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Jack Pipsam

I don’t want the law to get involved with gaming, so I wish developers would understand they keep making it harder and harder to remain free of the nanny state grasp while they prod the bear with this nonsense. It’s like they want to be punished at times with how they seem to be thrilled by pushing the boundaries.

Personally I am just sick of seeing crates, keys and loot-boxes in every single game ever these days. Not in a a grand moral or “think of the children!!!!” way (which I know so many love to grandstand about), I am still always in favour of personal choice and freedoms.
But I am just SICK of being constantly prodded and asked to hand over cash in the game, like when ESO had that pop-up goblin thing, what a way to take me out of the game.
I am sick of games being about loot and fun hats instead of the game (why I stopped playing TF2). I feel like gameplay is not longer important, that the game has changed. No longer is the skin a fun thing in the game, but the game has become a way to earn the skin so the skin has become the new real game.
This is what killed my love of Team Fortress 2 and why I can never even think of touching CS:GO again. It turns communities into a toxic mess of wanting the latest shiny.

I’ll buy your dumb skin if I think it looks cool, end of. I’ll sub if I think it’s worth it, end of. I’ll buy your game if I want it, end of. But I will never buy micro-currencies to play a side mini-game because that’s a waste of my time and it’s simply not fun.

I don’t play games like Dirty Bomb or Rainbow Six: Siege to have gun skins or the tat they put in their unlocks, I play the game because I like it.
In the past in Heroes of The Storm I am happy to support the devs by buying a skin outright, but I won’t partake in the 2.0 nonsense of all these separate currencies.

Mobile games have been doing this for ages now, but I plant the blame filmy and squarely on Valve & Blizzard for making it accepted and so mainstream.
I am more concerned about the desegregation and move away from the focus of gameplay more than anything else.

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Melissa McDonald

Yes a big difference in lootboxes that require a key (only gambling if you consider the toy in a Cracker Jack box to be gambling also), and turning lootboxes into a poker game where you COULD win big… or “lose it all”. THAT is gambling.

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Armsbend

I’m all for the quickest path to legislation against the gaming industry concerning lockboxes (among other things). So if they really want to make this happen – flood the inboxes of your legislators not reddit – which is meaningless outside of we hardcore purveyors.

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kgptzac

Ever wonder why government have stupid laws that smell of nothing but overreachs? This is how to get that started.

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Paragon Lost

Right, because we’ve repeatedly seen how well corporations self police themselves. Nice try Kgptzac.

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kgptzac

So you are saying lockboxes are among the worst things corporations can do that has historically spawned actual good and just laws to protect workers and consumers?

Let me tell you: it isn’t comparable. There’s a technical distinction between lockboxes and actual gambling (when that distinction gets murky, ie CSGO gambling scandal, government did act). Lockboxes and gacha is a commercial trend, and when people truly get tired of them, they will vote with their wallets and stop giving greedy companies the means of continuing this trend.

If you feel you need to whine about this to your government, I don’t really want to know what else is on that slippery rope where you can whine to the government where you spend your own money.

And to answer your question: no, corporations don’t police themselves well. That’s why you “help” them by tightening your own wallet.

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oldandgrumpy

I won’t be surprised when government asks for its share especially as they become aware of how much money is involved in the industry.

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Armsbend

I’m okay with that. Obviously they are not going to police themselves. It has only gotten worse over the years.

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Tobasco da Gama

Seriously. It’s been almost a decade since the lockbox trend started, and game companies show no signs of reigning themselves in. The government doesn’t need to get involved, but preventing that outcome requires game companies to demonstrate a level of self-control that they clearly aren’t capable of.

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Melissa McDonald

I’d rather them attend to real problems, like patching roads, fixing bridges, stopping toxic waste from entering our watersheds, etc.

Game lootboxes are damn near the bottom of the list for notifying legislature… call me crazy

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Paragon Lost

Well, if you want that, people have to stop voting in people who are against government agencies that do those very things. Currently the current administration is all about defunding those sort of agencies and putting in charge of those agencies people who aren’t for those very agencies. It is a very interesting time to be alive.

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Melissa McDonald

A matter of perspective. The EPA has wielded powers far beyond what was intended they be given, and instituted policies that kill off agriculture and animal husbandry in the USA. Its net effect is to completely eradicate an agrarian industry by making those industries adhere to ridiculous, extreme, and very costly rules. The EPA needed neutering in the worst of ways.

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Paragon Lost

So you’re going to hang your hat on one agency that might in your opinion needed reining in as a good counter to all those other agencies that are being defunded, understaffed, curtailed, having people put in charge of them who don’t believe in them etc as a good thing?

Btw I strongly disagree with you, you are aware of the term do no harm? Most of industries totally spit on that concept all in the name of profit. I believe in capitalism, I just believe in ethical capitalism and we don’t see much of that when industries are allowed to watch dog themselves.

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Melissa McDonald

I know a dairy farmer that would love to enlighten you about what the EPA has done to them.

Edit: I am for small government. It’s (government agencies are) proven to be the least efficient way to get anything done.

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Paragon Lost

Again, you’re missing the forest due to the one tree that you’re focusing on.

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Armsbend

All it takes is a few seconds on your state’s website. Not a big deal.

You can make them aware and keep the hospital lights on at the same time. People constantly bitch about lockboxes – do something about it. Make sure legislators know it is gambling aimed at children.

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Melissa McDonald

I think you’re missing the point. Why would I deluge them with B.S. when they have actual real problems to solve?

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