Apple Curbing Child Gambling

D, “Dad, can I get a purchase”

Me, “What is it you think you need?”

D, “Some Gems for Brawl Stars, so I can get a Legendary!”

Me, “Grrrr…. you know I don’t like you wasting money on in-app purchases…”

D, “Please, please, please!” Big brown puppy dog eyes…

Me, “Ok, just this one time, next time save your money for a better purchase. ”

One week later…

D, “Dad, can I buy more gems!?”

Me: “Didn’t you just buy some last week?”

D, “Yea, but I didn’t get my Legendary! PLEASE! I NEED a legendary!”

Me, “But you told me with those gems you would buy your Legendary character?”

D, “Well, yea, a Legendary Box! But I only got some coins…”

Me, “So you told me when you buy the gems you could get a Legendary, why didn’t you use them wisely?”

D, “I did! That’s how you do it! You buy the Legendary Box and hope you get one!”

Me, “I’m sorry, what?”

I’m sure the above conversation has happened a few times in a few houses over the past year. Game makers, not content with micro-transacting the SHIT out of every bloody damn game (and in the process, making previously highly enjoyable games (LOOKING AT YOU GALAXY ON FIRE YOU TWATS!) completely useless and unplayable), have included Loot Boxes.

Now, I remember Loot Boxes of old, beat the hell out of a Goatman Archer and get to that Golden Treasure chest, hoping it drops a unique weapon or armor! That was fun! It was the anticipation, that hope, the feeling when something good DID drop! Now… what if the developers decided to make the unique contents of those boxes necessary for being able to continue the game without it becoming tedious, one-sided and boring? What if, on top of that, you didn’t find them in the game after an epic battle, but in a side menu with a price on top of it? You put money into that to get the chance of winning a good character or some powerful item… kinda sounds like gambling doesn’t it?

What if this PROLIFERATED in kids games, prompting endless requests like the one above, just so little Johnny can play his game without getting his backside handed to him by someone that decided to drop $50 on loot boxes?

brawl stars gambling

Yes, these people expect someone to drop $139.99 on an in-app purchase.. really, really.

Apple Steps Up To Curb Gambling

As much as I wish Apple could outright ban micro-transactions and purchasable loot-boxes, it looks like they are here to stay. Ask a Star Wars fan about micro-transactions for a demonstration of various Star Wars universe colourful metaphors.

Until developers bugger right off and give us back proper games, Apple is demanding developers to releases the “odds” in their loot boxes. These should appear somewhere along the line before purchasing the thing. Small steps indeed, but at least it’s SOMETHING.

My advice is simply to be observant about what your kids are wanting to purchase. Have a family account properly set up so purchases can’t be made without your authorization and of course have a conversation with your kids; tell them what micro-transactions and loot boxes are all about. Explain the fact that these are ways for the game companies to make money out of you unfairly.

Otherwise, just mention micro-transactions to a room full of Star Wars fan and they’ll burn down the nearest game developer headquarters.

And now, let’s watch a grown ass man freaking out after spending possibly 4 digits on 1600 brawl boxes…

Ryszard Gold
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Ryszard Gold

Ryszard (Rick) Gold, From Calgary, Alberta, Canada has over 20 years of experience working with Apple products in a technical capacity. Passionate about technology in general, his natural troubleshooting abilities, curiosity and appreciation of good design lead him into working exclusively with Apple Computer products.
Ryszard Gold
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