Just when you thought lockbox gambling couldn’t get any grosser

    
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You might think, given the public outcry against digital video game lockboxes over the last year and the slow-moving but serious oversight crackdown currently ongoing by multiple governments across the world, that companies would be damn subtle about obvious gambleboxes. Lie low, right, and hope to avoid notice? But of course, anyone who’s seen the gachapon garbage at the endcaps on the toy aisles at Target knows better. Companies peddling gambleboxes digital or otherwise are all in while the getting’s good.

Both Motherboard and PC Gamer have pieces out this week covering a Polish company called Mystery Brand and the (content warning for pure idiocy, don’t click this link) dopey rich-kid YouTube influencers they’re sponsoring to promote the sale of what are essentially real-life lockboxes. Mystery Brand is vending digital color-coded lockboxes that allegedly contain valuable real-life items it promises to ship to you. The nicest thing we can say here is that they are “transparent” lockboxes in that you are told (and can configure, at your expense) the odds of receiving the items promised, though whether that’s also a deception is unknown. If you get junk, and you probably will, you can “sell” it back to the company before it ever ships to you, though for a fraction of its actual value.

This is the point in the article where I noticed that you can even digitally “cut” the tape off the box, as seen in the header pic here, and I now have keyboard marks on my cheeks from slamming my head repeatedly into my keyboard.

As Motherboard notes, some of the rewards aren’t just a rip-off or violation of gambling laws given the “significantly different values” of the prizes; they appear to be impossible and therefore intentionally scammy, including prizes such as an LA mansion Mystery Brand didn’t even own and a number of items it’s grossly overvaluing (and probably doesn’t have on hand), like computer equipment and a $2.5M lambo. So it’s only a matter of time before the US government cracks down on this company, given that it’s clearly failing to comply with gambling and sweepstakes laws here. For crying out loud, websites like ours can’t even include people who live in Quebec.

And I’m sure our savvy readers aren’t going to fall for a scam like this, but hey maybe also stop supporting and watching the YouTube megastars who blatantly help gross companies take advantage of dumb people and young people who have no idea that their YouTube icons are lying to them for cash.

Happy first “this is why we can’t have nice things” post of 2019.

Source: Motherboard, PC Gamer. Thanks, Winterskorn!
Update 1/5
Mystery Brand has offered statements regarding some of the allegations against it. While it admits it doesn’t actually own the cars or houses it’s offering as prizes, it claims it will compensate any winners commensurately. Its statements regarding slow or missing shipments and authentic products, however, remain contradictory. KEEM has also now admitted he was offered $100,000 by a different company, not this one – “Apparently there are many like Mystery,” he says – so we’ve amended that part of our article as we do not actually know how much Jake Paul and other influencers were paid to promote this organization.

Thanks Ken!

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kgptzac

I always wondered why “youtube personalities” exist and how to justify their existence, especially we all know the inevitable moronic shit they will eventually do that has been detailed just now… Yes, we all get entertainment out of watching stupid videos on youtube, but when those stupidity converge and form a singularity of unconstrained and bloated egos known as “youtube personalities”, perhaps you are partly to blame? ;)

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Alatar

You’re just now noticing the tendency people have of attributing value and importance to celebrities? For crying out loud, what makes the opinion of any celebrity (athlete, entertainer, etc.) worth anything more than yours or mine? YouTube isn’t unique, it’s just more democratic. With most celebrities, they are chosen for us by the media, team owners, record labels, etc. YouTube is the great equalizer because anyone with an idea and a webcam can become a star. (I’m personally a great fan of that aspect of YouTube, despite my sarcastic view of celebrities. I think that if someone makes content I enjoy viewing and there is value to my attention in terms of advertising, the content creator deserves to get a percentage of the ad revenues.)

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Skoryy

“We’ve secretly replaced the Nigerian prince with a Paul brother, will anyone with more money than common sense tell the difference?”

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Ryan Jordan

The warning not to click the youtube link should have been accompanied by police sirens, an angry chihuahua, an instaban and possibly a nuke.

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Maggie May

I want to know more about the people who live in Quebec thing … 🤔

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Armsbend

They have really strict anti gambling laws in Connecticut as well. I know they can play, but never receive free (sweepstakes) things live Xbox live promotions, etc. At least thats how it was 7 years ago or so.

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Roger Edwards

“Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.”

Cicero.

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rafael12104

Hmm. Well, I’m glad this is shedding light on the predatory lootbox mechanic overall.

And it exposes what some “influencers” are willing to do for a buck.

The good news is that coverage like this will help further the cause to eliminate lootbox gambling.

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mysecretid

The Paul brothers are rather staggeringly, well, dopey is the kindest term I can use here, Rafe.

Arrogance and ignorance are an ugly combination in a human being, and “Who cares? I’m rich!” doesn’t really make them any prettier.

My opinion, anyway, Rafe,

Be well,

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Jack Pipsam

I have to wonder if the once seemingly good-natured Loot Crate and similar organisations have lead to all this.
Tat in a box shipped monthly, YouTube gold for sure.

PS. I made it 1:31 into the video before I had to skip ahead, I have a tolerance to these hype-beasts to a degree. It was only once Jake began to actually do the thing when I actually understood what the deal is. I mean yeeesh, talk about dodgy. I get why idiot Youtubers do this nonsense, but I really hope people don’t get tricked into this trash.
This is rife for abuse and now with actual hard-cash dollar-dollar phat-stacks on the line, this is actual gambling. They can’t even hide behind the virtual currency/goods excuse, this is blatant AF.

One hopes so blatant it gets the attention from the proper authorities. Still, if they in their mind link lootboxes in games to this, then hey, that might lead to a good outcome down the line.

smuggler-in-a-yt
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smuggler-in-a-yt

This made the pandas sad.

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Randy Savage

I clicked the link. Now I’m missing brain cells.

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socontrariwise

I know, me too. Clicked I mean. I’m not sure though a few brain cells is all I paid for with …

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Mr.McSleaz

Serves you right.
Remember that commercial from the 90’s “This is your brain. This is your brain on streamers. Any Questions?”
You can avoid this problem in the future by NEVER clicking a link to watch an Influencer or Streamer.

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Jiminy Smegit

If aliens ever visited our planet and the first people they met were the Paul brothers, I would totally understand if they wanted to remove our species from the universe.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

If aliens visited Earth they would go into the UN with a bunch of.nondescript boxes and tell the UN in one.of these boxes you can advance your.civilization to a Galaxy faring civilization how ever the rest of these boxes are either empty or have planet destroying mini black holes; we would have given you the knowledge of our culture but after studying your world.we.figure.this would be more appropriate.