The US Federal Trade Commission launches an investigation into loot boxes

The US Federal Trade Commission launches an investigation into loot boxes

The United States Federal Trade Commission has pledged to explore apparent "endemic" loot boxes in the video games industry, following a potential connection to child gambling. US Senator Maggie Hassan, a Democrat from New Hampshire, encouraged FTC Chairman Joe Simons to investigate loot boxes during a Congressional oversight committee meeting this week. But during Tuesday's hearing, Hassan also noted that countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands have been outlawing loot boxes, claiming they can expose children to a form of gambling.

Earlier this year, Hassan questioned potential nominees to be Federal Trade Commission Commissioners about their stances on topics including loot boxes, and many of those nominees are among those addressed today.

The list of games containing loot boxes has grown in recent months and includes popular titles, such as "Fortnite", "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" and "FIFA 18". "At minimum, the rating system should denote when loot boxes are utilized in physical copies of electronic games". It's also interested in finding ways for parents to be made aware of which of their children's games include loot boxes.

Of course, Sen. Hassan's concerns might not necessarily translate into action against either loot boxes or game developers.

Arsenal expecting Europa match vs Vorskla Poltava to go on as planned
The match will now take place at Kyiv's Olimpiyskiy Stadium on Thursday, November 29 at 18.55CET, UEFA said in a statement on its website .

To be honest, this new investigation could end up being a big game of cat and mouse, as the Entertainment Software Association, which represents the government-level interests of games publishers, told Polygon that loot boxes "enhance the experience that video games offer" and "are not gambling".

Ever since EA released the money-hungry Star Wars Battlefront 2 past year, the topic of loot boxes in gaming has skyrocketed.

There's no telling how long it will take the FTC to investigate loot boxes or, if it agrees that they need to be regulated, how it will do so. They have no real-world value, players always receive something that enhances their experience, and they are entirely optional to purchase.

Slowly but surely, governments are beginning to pay attention to the controversy loot boxes have been causing throughout the past year. "They can enhance the experience. but have no impact on those who do not". But many consumers have objected to loot boxes as an exploitative monetization tool.

Related Articles