Loot boxes may face reclassification in effort to curb gambling addiction. The UK Government is calling for a review on the use of loot boxes in games.
This comes after mounting concerns suggesting that loot boxes are encouraging gambling-style behaviour among children. This could potentially lead children to gambling addiction or problem gambling later on in life. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is going to launch a call for evidence on the increasingly common feature of games such as FIFA.
If ministers opt to reclassify loot boxes, the decision would have a significant impact on game developers. They could be forced to withdraw some titles or redesign their games so that they can be sold to people under 18.
The DCMS select committee heard evidence last year that game developers are using loot boxes likely to “facilitate profiting from problem gamblers.” In a subsequent report, the influential committee advised that they should be considered gambling products. “They are a virtually speculative commodity that only help to normalise and encourage young people to take a chance,” said Labour MP Carolyn Harris. Harris chairs a cross-party group of MPs investigating gambling-related harm. “All too often this will lead to youngsters developing an addiction to gambling.” she added.
Loot boxes are treasure chests that contains a bulk of undisclosed items. Players will need to purchase these loot boxes with cash or the games currency to unlock the items in the boxes.
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