Loot Boxes, another game blown apart

For the few days I have been sitting in with some banned whales in Pirates of the Caribbean:Tides of War.  I was recently reminded of what compelled them to start using loaders to begin with.  It was a very valuable loot box.

The game came out with a new ship called the Mammoth.  The only way to get it was purchasing loot boxes that gave a 1% chance each chest.  Normally I would call it a pack, but, with such a valuable item, and such low odds we call it what it is, a loot box.

Players would need to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars to obtain it.  In a pay to win game you either give up, or pay up.  This is what is destroying POC:TOW

Large spenders doing the math turned to the loader market to get these loot boxes cheaper.  And unfortunately these were criminal loaders ripping off the players and developer alike.

In recent news the Netherlands released a study that is opening the door to loot box regulation in games.  This was followed by Belgium threatening imprisonment of gaming executives if loot boxes in their game continue to fit its gambling laws.  This also was around the time South Korea’s FTC fined three games for loot box violations.

Perhaps this is why the sudden action of Joycity the developer of POC:TOW to do a sudden mass banning?  Fear of a changing climate and imprisonment?  We likely won’ t know.  The timing is convenient though.  Joycity had months, if not years to address illegal loaders and refunds in their game, but chose the past week to mass ban hundreds of spending players based on a poor metric.  This is a decision that is being regarded as a death sentence to their game.

There are issues like the loaders ripped off the company, and even some players where complicit in this.  Most players being banned were not even aware of the illegal action of the loaders or involved with loading.  The point is the game developers work hard to make the game as addictive as possible.  They then made it so the only way for the hardest addicted players to stay on top was to buy loot boxes in bulk.  They reap what they sow.

As of writing this google has refunded players over 11 million dollars over this.  The number is growing.  Now if Apple would stand by its customers, justice might be served.  At least part of it.  The loaders need their day next.



7 thoughts on “Loot Boxes, another game blown apart

  1. Can also lose this mammoth you possibly paid a ton for. Some that rarely spend have lost their mammoths forcing them pay ridiculous amount of gold to get back. Many actually don’t even have this amount of gold leaving them to purchase more packs for gold or just lose the ship entirely

    1. Bs. If they have mammoths they spend plenty and a 10 dollar blessing per week would save them from sinking.

  2. If it’s true that Google has refunded over $11m already, as this posting suggests, then that is significant. For one, that means Google finds merit in the claims that people have put forth, but more importantly that is probably pretty close to a years worth of incoming revenue for that app if the Sensor Tower App Store data is even close to being accurate. Apple has likely refunded a large amount too, as it’s hard to imagine these things happening in a vacuum of just one distributor. Sensor Tower reports PotC: ToW had approx $1m revenue for the last reporting period of March which I think is likely inflated as for the last several months this app hasn’t hardly cracked the top 200 in grossing charts. It’s currently listed as 247, so that app alone probably isn’t generating but maybe a few thousand $ a day from IAP’s. This developer has multiple apps being distributed by Google and Apple that are all very low on the grossing charts, so Google isn’t going to refund that huge of a sum without having some way to claw back that amount via what’s owed to JoyCity from them for the IAP’s that are generated across all of the other apps. If there are private investors for JoyCity involved I am sure their troubles are mounting. I hope they get what they deserve and are run out of business. It’s too bad mainstream and widely known publications don’t report on this kind of crap… Dragging Disney’s name through the mud for not monitoring those licensing of their brands would also be helpful.

    1. A google refund exploit has been fingered as the criminal loaders method. Apple has less skin in the game, so to speak.

      1. A refund exploit? Last I checked refunds, charge backs from CC’s etc.. required some sort of human involvement whereby one would need to explain the reason for asking for a refund to a person in the first place and if there was an exploit on Googles behalf where they somehow automated it without checks and balances of a human, then that’s on them. There is always an element of fraud in every business and even the brick and mortar stores have had to deal with it from a shoplifting/refund perspective, but for JoyCity to ban anyone or everyone that has ever claimed a refund as has been reported smacks of incompetence and them not being able or willingness to determine with certainty who they have banned is guilty of fraudulently claiming a refund.

        People have an absolute right to request a refund when they didn’t get goods or services they were led to believe they would get when paying for something… it’s up to the entity that provided the goods or services to show they delivered satisfactorily… in this case, it looks like JoyCity are expecting people to prove to them retroactively they didn’t even ask for a refund or if they did it was justified… again – the loaders and those who used them should be easily identified just by the data that gets collected in real time by these apps and stores, and dealt with accordingly. Funny thing about the loaders… JoyCity was still getting paid… maybe a reduced amount due to the currency exchange rates, etc.. but still got paid… they knew that all along. They made a calculated decision to accept a lower amount than possibly receive nothing at all from those who were using them. It’s them banning people who merely got a legitimate refund and then them demanding they pay it back before even discussing it, that’s the problem.

        it’s funny how some chastise or are critical of the crooks who rip off other crooks…

        1. Close, only thing I caught you are missing is these are criminal loaders. They load by spoofing googles online refund process after loading packs. If the developer actually gets the money, its only for a short time.

        2. Sadly, players don’t have the right to request refunds for items not received per Joy City’s new TOS for ToW. You are only allowed to seek refunds through their help desk. If they can’t/won’t help and you seek a refund through any other means, they will now suspend then ban.

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