FTC To Investigate Predatory Loot Box Practices Sweeping Gaming Industry

30 November, 2018, 19:43 | Author: Leah Owens
  • US FTC commits to investigating loot boxes in video games By Keshav Bhat

The UK Gambling Commission has previously said that loot boxes 'blur the lines" between video games and gambling and pledged, along with 13 other European commissions and the Washington State Gambling Commission to "thoroughly analyse' how loot boxes are created to ensure they comply with gambling laws. Democratic senator Maggie Hassan issued an official request for the investigation during a U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation subcommittee hearing on November 27.

Loot boxes are under investigation in America.

As reported by Broadcasting Cable, Senator Hassan said that loot boxes are "endemic" to the industry, and noted their increased availability in games regardless of platform or budget. The Australian government will also be launching a deeper investigation into the effects of loot boxes in video games.

She also reinforced the Gambling Commission's previously mentioned study, through warning how children are most susceptible to loot boxes, a feature she claimed as a "close link" to gambling.

For better or worse, loot boxes have become a popular way for gaming developers to pull in extra revenue from their players.

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Simons promised that his commission would "undertake this project and keep the committee informed about it". Though EA seems to be standing strong on loot boxes in general, there have been some other publishers who have reconsidered loot boxes in their own games. They work like this: You fork over cash to buy a mystery box, which may contain a valuable in-game item-but only if you're lucky.

"Just this month, Great Britain's gambling commission released a report finding that 30% of children have used loot boxes in video games". They have no real-world value, players always receive something that enhances their experience, and they are entirely optional to purchase.

Loot boxes have been a major subject of controversy in 2018, with numerous organizations debating the possibility of classifying them as gambling. "They can enhance the experience. but have no impact on those who do not".

The report opens with a definition of loot boxes as "a broad concept extending to any model that provides a consumer with the option of making small purchases within a game or other application", using either real money or "game points".

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