Video game companies and developers just got an ultimatum from the UK government to ban children from purchasing loot boxes. If not, ministers may have to take it up by legislation.
The minister for media, data and digital infrastructure, Julia Lopez met with a group of gaming companies, tech firms, and industry representatives to urge them to end the said access to consumable virtual items.
Lopez made it clear to the companies that if they fail to self-regulate, the legislation may do it for them. This could mean the creation of new law under the gambling legislation or UK’s online harms bill.
Loot boxes are paid extra in games that allow players to unlock special skins, weapons, characters, and more. Such feature have been an issue in the UK as it’s seen to encourage gambling.
- 10 good benefits of playing video games
- 5 ways to make money while playing video games
- 50+ words Pinoy gamers use online
Removing loot boxes could be challenging for game companies as such microtransactions are big money-makers.
In the said meeting, the game companies apparently objected to the request by saying that there was little evidence against loot boxes and saying that they’ve done measures to ensure that players have more control.
A government spokesman said: “People must be able to enjoy video games safely, and we are reviewing the impact of loot boxes to examine concerns they may encourage or lead to problem gambling.”
“We will publish our response to this review in the coming months.” the spokesman added.