Nestled within Apple's new guidelines for App developers, which came out yesterday, was a note that requires all app developers to disclose loot box odds in games. Specifically, the new rules require that loot boxes be transparent about their odds of dropping each type of reward. "Apps offering 'loot boxes' or other mechanisms that provide randomized virtual items for purchase must disclose the odds of receiving each type of item to customers prior to purchase," the new rule states.
So it should tell you exactly what your likelihood of getting that rare item drop, versus that random trash that you don't want but will probably get and everything in between. This reflects the limitations some countries have put on loot boxes amidst the whole "are loot boxes gambling" debate.
Apple's decision comes after a year full of talk about the legality and fairness of loot boxes, which many players see as a manipulative, predatory method to get them to spend more money on games. Despite the fact that many mobile games have always had similar systems, loot boxes received renewed attention this year thanks to their inclusion in console games like Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Star Wars Battlefront II. The outrage over Battlefront II's loot box system caused a number of responses — including EA's decision to take them offline and the state of Hawaii starting an investigation into the practice.
Apple's move is a definite positive for those against loot box systems, as they do make the number one brand of smartphone. Despite some serious competition, the iPhone continues to sell absurdly well even while being less than innovative. This means developers will have to cave to those rules unless they want to lose out on the largest audience of players.