Pokémon Go gives some players the chance to see the contents of their eggs in a move that could be aimed at avoiding legal restrictions on loot boxes in Europe. Germany and Belgium have respectively passed laws restricting games that apply the game mechanics to players aged 18 and over or banning loot boxes outright.
In tweets, Pokémon Go Developer Niantic said some users can press an egg to view an array of possible Pokémon, and their rarity level, in their inventory – although that doesn’t show whether the Pokémon is shiny. Eggs, which are randomly awarded to PokéStops or Friends and Rocket Leaders players, are an integral part of the mobile game.
Trainers, we’re excited to share that we’re starting to test where a limited number of Trainers will be able to see which Pokémon can hatch from eggs in their inventory!
– Niantic Support (@NianticHelp) March 11, 2021
There are several types of eggs in Pokémon Go, which you can hatch using an incubator after traveling a certain distance. While this gives you a general overview of their content, they still function as blind loot boxes. And this is ultimately where the problem lies for Niantic, as a growing number of countries crack down on distributors of random items over fears they might induce minors to develop a gambling addiction.
Last year a Dutch court fined EA 10 million euros ($ 11.9 million) in a case concerning FIFA Ultimate Team packs, which followed a ban on loot boxes by the country’s gaming authority in 2018. UK officials also reported urged the government to treat functionality like gaming. Meanwhile, Epic Games recently colonized an American class action lawsuit on Fortnite: save the world loot box by giving players 1000 V-Bucks each.
Niantic update follows Pokémon 25th anniversary. Iconic franchise’s jubilee celebrations saw the announcement of new Nintendo Switch games, including an open-world prequel Pokémon Legends Arceus, remakes of Nintendo DS games 2006 Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl and a closer look at New Pokémon Snap.