Dutch authorities are investigating loot boxes
The Dutch Gaming Authority is investigating games that offer loot boxes according to the biggest Dutch news website Nu.nl. Online gambling is illegal in The Netherlands and under strict regulation by the government. Neighbouring country Belgium already reported investigating loot boxes and promoting gambling to underaged gamers. Both countries have strict laws when it comes to online gambling.
“Especially in the case of minors, there is a risk that they may have trouble seeing the consequences of such games, “the Gaming Authority recently warned: The games could be addictive and even lead to financial debts.
A spokesperson for the Dutch Gaming Authority commented;
Suppose we assume that this is a game of chance. In the Netherlands, a game of chance is always subject to licensing and we do not yet have a licensing system for online games of chance. If someone offers an online game of chance, then they are in violation, which in the worst case can result in enforcement and a penalty.
As a result games that make use of loot boxes could become illegal, but for now it’s not very likely.
Loot boxes not illegal yet
Loot boxes are under investigation at the moment and it’s too early to make any comments on specific games. The investigation is looking into gambling addiction related to online gaming. A company called SuperData Research recently researched the correlation between online gambling and online games and concluded that some gamers start gambling online. That doesn’t really say anything so further investigation is needed.
Star Wars battlefront II loot boxes and micro transactions
Recently EA caused outrage by adding manipulative and questionable tactics to motivate gamers in buying loot boxes. Topics about loot boxes and EA have been dominating Reddit for days and gamers are massively demanding a refund. EA’s community even managed to get the most down voted comment ever. EA did an AMA (ask me anything) yesterday which of course didn’t go very well.
Most of the anger about Star Wars Battlefront II is focused on micro transactions, people paid $80 bucks and get a freemium model. EA really pushed the boundaries here. According to Swtorstrategies you need to spend $2100 to unlock everything or consider playing the game as a full time job as it will take about 4500 hours.
Supporting independent developers
If you’re really fed up with the big gaming publishers you could consider supporting indie games. Gaming has changed over the past decade and took a turn for the worst. It isn’t about making the best games possible anymore, but about shareholders and grabbing more money with less effort.
The saga continues…