New Bill Targeting Microtransactions May Cost Gaming Industry a Fortune
The gaming industry could find itself scrambling in the coming months. Josh Hawley, an American Senator from Missouri has made a proposition to try and regulate microtransaction within video games. He has recently introduced a bill titled “The Protecting Children From Abusive Games Act.” This law hopes to stop minors from accessing games that use microtransactions. Senator Hawley is not alone either. Lawmakers in Belgium and Hawaii have looked into this problem as well. They have arrived at the same conclusion, that microtransactions do in fact constitute gambling and therefore should be kept out of the hands of children.
These sorts of in-game purchases are incredibly common within the gaming industry today. Massive video game franchises like League of Legends and Fortnite all have some form of in-game currency available to their players. With a practice that is as pervasive as microtransactions, it is hard to imagine how many games this bill would affect. Clash of Clans, a free mobile game made almost 2.3 billion in 2016 off of this business model.
I am no fan of microtransactions. But the logistics of this bill seem impractical and poorly thought out. The bill would specifically effect games which “target children under 18” and “games with a wider audience”. Because of the vague terminology that the bill uses, it doesn’t exactly paint a clear picture. How will this new law be enforced? Whatever the outcome may be, if this law passes, it will take away an enormous amount of revenue from large gaming companies.
What do you think? Should microtransactions be regulated by the government? Or should things stay as they are? Be sure to let us know in the comments and on Instagram and Twitter.