The Government May Crackdown on Microtransactions
With the escalation of microtransactions and the prevalence of games as a service, it was only a matter of time before the government took special note of the gaming industry. In this latest loot box news, it seems the state of Hawaii has introduced legislation that would ban the distribution of games to consumers under 21.
Various governments throughout the world have taken a special interest in loot boxes, lately. Thanks to the ESRB’s passivity on the issue, the Belgium Gaming Commission, Germany, and the UK government have decided to look into the matter. However, the first tangible legislation is coming from the United States. Hawaii, who just introduced four new pieces of legislation, spearheaded the anti-loot box movement as a result of the Star Wars: Battlefront II fiasco. As a result, we’ve had the following bills introduced in the House and Senate.
As reported by the Hawaii Tribune Herald., House Bill 2686 and Senate Bill 3024 proposes banning the selling of games with loot boxes to people under 21. The second pair, House Bill 2727 and Senate Bill 3025 would require that publishers properly label games that contain loot box mechanics as well as disclose the probability rates of item rewards.
It was Hawaii State Representative Chris Lee who pushed for these new bills. You may remember him from the first press conference following the backlash against Star Wars Battlefront II predatory practices. Here’s what he had to say: “I grew up playing games my whole life. I’ve watched firsthand the evolution of the industry from one that seeks to create new things to one that’s begun to exploit people, especially children, to maximize profit.”
Of course, this is a Democracy and state representatives still have to vote on these bills. Personally, I think there’s a higher probability of games getting a new label than being banned outright. But, only time will tell. Have your own thoughts on Hawaii’s proposed legislation? Comment down below.