Guidelines around users paying for random virtual items

We recently added further detail to our UGC guidelines in our Terms of Use to help set clear expectations for what users are paying for when it comes to virtual items. Under our Terms of Use, developers must indicate the actual numerical odds (such as a 30% chance) of what users may receive when they are buying a random virtual item in-game using Robux or other currency. We’ve provided more detail and examples below to help make these guidelines clear.

Please note that you are required to disclose those odds whether the user pays directly for a virtual item or indirectly. Here is an example of a user paying indirectly: Your game allows a user to receive a virtual coin in exchange for Robux; the user then goes to a different place in the game and throws the coin into a fountain, and receives a random virtual item. In this example, developers must disclose the odds of receiving each type of random item before the user throws the virtual coin into the fountain.

In-Game examples or included probability:

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If your game includes mechanics where a virtual reward is provided in exchange for completing an action that does not involve the payment of Robux or other currency, then you do not need to state the odds of receiving that reward. For example, if you successfully battle against a monster and get a virtual reward for your efforts then you do not need to state the odds of receiving the reward.

Please ensure your games adhere to these guidelines by August 8, 2019. If you do not comply within that time period, you run the risk of your game being moderated (for more information on the Roblox moderation system, see: https://en.help.roblox.com/hc/en-us/articles/360020870412-Understanding-Moderation-Messages).

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Finally! This will really help clear up tons of information asymmetry and rein in some unethical practices I’ve seen, intentional or otherwise. As someone who not only makes games but plays them too, I don’t see any downsides to this at all. Thank you :heart:

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Are there checks to ensure that these chance indications are accurate? I’d imagine it may be hard to automate a system for this since there are many ways to approach such a system of chance.

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I’m assuming the process is if someone writes an email to roblox saying they suspect a game for lying about the numbers (like based on anecdotal evidence), roblox would check the source code then.

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Actually, juuuuust one question. Is this information allowed to be hidden in some tooltip or menu? What’s the policy around that?

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You should be showing the odds accurately to the user.

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While that is better than nothing, it may be fairly difficult to accurately determine whether the chances are skewed without a large data set. (and in this case that’d be costly with buy-able products)

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Yea I get that, wasn’t my question tho (did you mean to reply to taart?)

Something I’m concerned about is someone making a tiny ‘show odds’ button or something in the far corner, where nobody thinks to look. That sort of dark pattern.

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Good, actual enforcement on randomised inventory purchase mechanics. The lack of consumer awareness of what they’re paying for is absolutely stupid because developers either refuse, “forget” to include that kind of data in or don’t bother to do so for whatever reason.

I cannot wait until the enforcement date.

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This seems like an overall great update for the community. This kind of regulation is what I like to see from the player and the developer point of view. As a player, it takes away my trust for games and their developers if paid items are misleading. As a developer, it encourages good practices by regulating the bad practices.

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It odds should be obvious to the user at the time of them completing the transaction.

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This is good. These kind of things are already similar to gambling, but if you know the odds it is your decision if you want to take the risk, which adds some fairness to it all.

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You’re right. Maybe they do periodic checks on high-profile games’ source codes that feature games of chance, would like to hear roblox’s reply.

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For the better. Too many games hide the odds and chances of the items to be won, despite players spending their robux.

I’ll be sure inform my dev team on this too avoid any future moderation.

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Very important change, games like CB:RO just like it’s counterpart rely on little kids spending A LOT of money to get a rare knife, with no actual knowledge of just how low the chance of winning it is.

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This is good. I would prefer something to discourage people from creating these sorts of things to begin with (gambling by any other name is still gambling) but starting to regulate them in the ToS is a great start.

I have a similar question to @Elttob though. How prominently does this information have to be displayed? I can see people just hiding it in some “information” section and that’s of no use to anybody.

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Makes me think you have to have some popup before a purchase with the odds. I feel that if you have some small, hidden away on the side, window where everything is disclosed, it would defeat the purpose of guideline.

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So are we required to show the chance of each item or the chance of each rarity? The examples only show the chance of each rarity.

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I’m curious to see however, if there is a gamepass that gives “Double Chances” (i.e. your chance of the “best” prize is improved by double) if when you purchase that gamepass, the odds need to be updated on the screen or the normal odds are displayed and the user must just assume what the double odds give them.

Or if we’ll just see them get rid of gamepasses suggesting “double odds” because well, it’s just kinda sketchy.

This is a fantastic change however, as I know of a certain car game that you open “crates” for cars in, that many users have complained that it’s “impossible” to earn the most rare vehicle in the crate without double luck (and then the Developers said that it’s a “known bug that they’re working on”)

I feel if we knew what the percent was, it’d make more sense how it’s somehow a “bug” or just poor planning.

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I think it would make sense to disclose the chance of a rarity, and then label the items as a certain rarity. Labeling each, individual item wouldn’t make much sense.