With the popularity of online games in China, rules and regulations are part of the territory. But the country has taken things a step further when it comes to blind loot boxes, wanting publishers to come clean with what could be in the box and hard the items are to get.
The new rules, approved by China's Ministry of Culture (and translated by NeoGAF's chillybright), requires publishers to list all details for blind loot boxes, such as item, properties, quantity and probability of being in the box. So if a box has a loot table of six items, all must be itemized with what they do, how many could be in the box and what the percentage chance of drop is, the latter usually being the most important to gamers. In addition, all information must be displayed on a web page hosted by the publisher, likely on the game's official site. The law applies to both free-to-play and paid ones.
If you want the actual verbiage:
“2.6 – Online game publishers shall promptly publicly announce information about the name, property, content, quantity, and draw/forge probability of all virtual items and services that can be drawn/forge on the official website or a dedicated draw probability webpage of the game. The information on draw probability shall be true and effective.”
“2.7 – Online game publishers shall publicly announce the random draw results by customers on notable places of official website or in game, and keep record for government inquiry. The record must be kept for more than 90 days. When publishing the random draw results, some measures should be taken place to protect user privacy.”
The law will take effect on May 1.
Some publishers are very upfront about these types of details, while other publishers leave it to dataminers to go through the code or actually run their own probability tests and publish them. While this is purely for China, it is possible that games that cross geopolitical borders could have the same information, especially when it comes to probability. Expect these publisher pages with loot drop information to be translated in several countires once the rule takes effect.