The end for loot boxes? Tough restrictions on children's gambling planned

The danger of loot boxes

Consumer Groups vs Gaming

Loot boxes have been heavily criticized for years. But now 20 consumer groups from 18 European countries have come together and want to put an end to it all. The groups endorse a Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) report called “Insert Coin: How the Gaming Industry Exploits Consumers using Loot Boxes.” The report states that the loot boxes are the systematic exploitation of the players.
FIFA 22 was particularly criticized for its loot boxes.
They accuse the companies behind the boxes of covering up reality and misleading customers. Examples of methods used to achieve this include aggressive marketing, simulated time pressure, and unverifiable win probabilities. The actual monetary value of the boxes is often also concealed through the use of in-game currencies. According to consumer groups, this is a violation of the law. As examples, the report cites “FIFA 22” and “Raid Shadow Legends,” two games that make heavy use of loot boxes.

The future of loot boxes in Europe

Loot boxes are already banned in Belgium. A court found that the boxing system violated the country's gambling laws and was therefore illegal. For example, EA no longer sells FIFA points in Belgium. Also the new Diablo Immortal will not be released in Belgium because it contains loot boxes.
However, the consumer groups are not calling for a total ban on loot boxes, although this would of course directly fix the problem. Instead, they are calling for more transparency for players and measures to protect children. Loot boxes should no longer be aggressively marketed, especially in games for children. Likewise, the actual monetary value of the boxes should be apparent so players can make an informed decision. It is also particularly important not to present the loot boxes as limited offers. This encourages the spending of real money rather than the often more time-consuming process of earning in-game currency. Incidentally, a consumer group from Germany is also involved. Whether we will see new regulations for loot boxes and virtual gambling in the future, similar to those in Belgium, will soon be seen.

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