Valve is implementing some region-specific changes for CS:GO this week in order to get around potential loot box regulations. In an effort to work around the lootboxes/gambling argument, CS:GO now has an X-Ray scanner to reveal the specific item in any container before opening it.
The X-Ray Scanner is only available to CS:GO players in France and it is a requirement for players based there to use the scanner before being able to open a skin container. You put your container into the scanner, see what it has inside and then you can choose to pay for an unlock key or not to bother at all.
The big catch here is that the x-ray scanner can only be used once. As soon as you reveal the item inside of a container, you must buy a key and claim the item before you can scan a new container. The very first x-ray scanned item will always be an exclusive and non-tradeable P250-xray handgun in order to stop users from making new accounts to scan a number of containers until they find the skin they like.
Beyond that, Steam users in France can no longer buy skin containers on the Steam Community Market, although they can still sell any they have already and earn new ones through gameplay.
On the one hand, this is the sort of system that would need to be in place to avoid people abusing item scanning by only opening guaranteed valuable crates or scanning crates and selling them based on the item seen inside. However, with France already breathing down Valve’s neck over consumer protection laws, this might end up causing more of a stir, particularly if more European countries begin to ban digital loot boxes based on a gambling connection.
KitGuru Says: Loot box gambling controversies have been stirring for years now but governments are starting to take notice. It will be interesting to see if this method ends up being required in other parts of the world eventually too based on new regulations.