We are not sure if we should be impressed with Valve’s ingenuity or utterly horrified at the news that CS:GO players in France are now equipped with a loot box x-ray device. Here are the patch notes:
– Introducing the X-ray Scanner for users in France:
— The X-ray Scanner allows users to reveal the item inside any container.
— Each user’s x-ray scanner comes preloaded with a one-time exclusive non-tradable item—the P250 | X-Ray.
— Users in France must first claim this item to use the x-ray scanner again.
In France, every container must first be placed into the X-ray Scanner to reveal the item inside before purchasing a key. The X-ray Scanner will consume the container and reveal the item inside. To use the X-ray Scanner again, the revealed item must be claimed; it is not possible to scan another Container without claiming the revealed item.
In France containers can no longer be purchased from Steam Community Market, but can still be sold.
TL:DR – To open a loot box you must scan it, you cannot scan or open any further loot boxes until you have claimed the one you scanned. Or, to put it another way, loot boxes are no longer gambling because you know what is inside before you buy it.
The fact that you are then forced to purchase the contents before getting a new scanner, well who cares about that. It’s an incredibly devious way of getting round any forthcoming legislation on loot boxes and if Valve can get away with this in France then it will no doubt get rolled out to other territories, and indeed copied by other developers.
However, as many countries including the UK are currently investigating loot boxes Valve may have played their hand too early. Laws have yet to be written and those looking at loot boxes could take Valve’s ingenious but morally dubious X-Ray mechanic in to account.