We reported a little while ago that in the wake of the big controversy surrounding EA’s decision to give Star Wars Battlefront 2 a pay-to-win gambling system, governments around the world have been zeroing in on the practice of putting loot boxes in games. And while so far the news on that front has been fairly quiet (the EU hasn’t officially followed up on calls to ban games that use the system) a new YouTube video uploaded by Hawaii representative Chris Lee outlines how he would tackle the issue… and it is intense.
But even as a hater of loot boxes, I don’t mean that in a good way.
The measure would do a few things; the first would be preventing game makers from adjusting drop rates in loot boxes and add a layer of transparency to how likely you are to get what you want. So that means they couldn’t make it less likely you’ll get that gun you’re looking for to entice you to keep spending… but it also means no “pity” boxes that will give you better gear because you’ve had a poor run.
Okay, that’s fine. But the big problem is that he wants to ban the sale of any game that has loot boxes, or a game where you can “purchase a chance to win an in-game item) to anyone below the age of 21… and that law would both affect both physical and digital item sales.
That, friends, is a big deal. And maybe a bit too far.
The good news is that this is far from legal, and a bill hasn’t even been properly drafted, so we’re still a long ways from this being discussed in the court of law. All the same, he encourages people to write to their congressperson and try to get them on board to stop this predatory behavior.
But we’ll have to see if that’s really the best idea.