China to force all online game with random loot features to publicly announce item probabilities

China’s new ruling on probabilities and various RNG factors in acquiring loot or items through online gaming leads me to believe that they either (a) are looking out for gamers, and look to create a more widely known probability factor for acquiring in-game items, or (b) someone bought 50 loot boxes in Overwatch and didn’t get a single Legendary skin.

If that is the case, then you, sir, have our utmost condolences.

That fact aside, the official ruling states as such:

“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.”

Notice that all they mention for who has to do it is “online game publishers”, which is just about as general of a term as could be used. That means it applies to games and eSports played widely in the scene, including Overwatch, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and more, since they all include some form of RNG of acquiring items. While this will likely not change much, if anything, to do with the competitive scene or professionals as a whole, it will be rather convenient to know exactly what one’s odds are of getting certain loot items in various games. Hearthstone, for example, has been a topic of probability study since its release, and has had surprisingly extensive research done into the topic of pulling certain cards, and one’s rough odds of doing so. If you feel like doing some reading, one of the more extensive works on the case can be found here.