Recently, there was a huge spike in people talking about loot boxes in games. Several countries are calling for their removal, and Belgium is currently on the way to ban them completely. So what are loot boxes and will they be restricted?
What are the loot boxes?
Unlike a cash shop, Loot Box is a package of random items that can be purchased with limited in-game money. You can spend a very small amount of money to have a chance to get a great item. The important thing here is that Loot Box is usually much cheaper if compared to a regular cash shop.
What makes Loot boxes so attractive to gamers?
The most tempting thing about Loot Box is its mystery and gambling feelings. You don’t know what items in the box you just bought until you open it. Imagine buying a box for $1 and opening an item that worths $100. That is an attractive bargain, isn’t it?
Is loot a disguised form of gambling?
Loot boxes are very similar to playing on real money casinos. Both require a deposit of funds and the outcome is unknown, which can be considered as gambling. You only need to spend a small amount to be able to reap super-profits.
In Loot boxes, you will see all the elements of a disguised form of gambling such as randomness, desire, addictive ability, and chance. All in just a tiny virtual box. That is the reason why many countries, which include Belgium, consider it a type of gambling and are concerned about it.
However, the Entertainment Software Rating Board disagrees with the idea. They state that gambling means you only win or lose while buying a Loot box means the player will surely get the item, whether it is the best thing or not.
Will loot boxes be restricted?
Belgium became one of the first countries to investigate loot boxes, after many articles and strong objections about how EA implemented the random reward system in Star Wars Battlefront II. Geens wants to completely ban the use of real money to buy virtual items in the game.
Regulatory agencies in the US and UK have long been investigating loot boxes
The committee admits that there is no solid evidence that using loot boxes can make gamers become gamblers, but many studies show that teenagers are more addicted to gambling if they open loot boxes.
People argued that loot boxes containing fortunate ingredients should not be sold to children. The committee also advises that games containing loot boxes opened with real money should be labeled gambling and applied gambling regulations by law.