Loot Boxes and Microtransactions Are Front and Center Once Again
Loot boxes have been in the crosshairs of politicians and concerned citizens over the past few years. Many have equated the business practice to a form of gambling. If this was ever found to be the case, then it would only be natural for it to be regulated in such a way that would stop minors from participating. The UK’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport have just released an 84-page report that has concluded that while loot boxes were not a form of gambling, but instead had a “lack of honesty and transparency”.
The UK Gambling Commission arrived at a verdict earlier this year that loot boxes were not a form of gambling. And therefore couldn’t be regulated as such. However, the commission did say that gaming companies need to be more responsible and clear about loot boxes.
The inquiry from the politicians has stated that they would support an age limitation for games that contain loot boxes. They have also pushed for a gambling warning to be attached to said games.
Loot boxes might not be a explicit form of gambling. However, many are concerned about what sort of impact these will have on younger generations. A huge influence to burn money on video games simply did not exist 10-15 years ago. There was the odd DLC here and there, but aside from that, once someone bought the game they were good to go. While this business practice does not go out of its way to target children, it seems like the younger video gaming audience are the most susceptible to fall victim.
Some places in the world have already outright banned them. And it looks there many more are going to follow suit.