Loot boxes set to be completely banned in new government action
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Featured Image Credit: Ekaterina Bolovtsova via Pexels, Activision
Microtransactions are hard to avoid in gaming. I’m sure at some point you’ve added some V-Bucks to your Fortnite account, or purchased a couple of FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) packs.
Despite their prevalence, microtransactions are incredibly unpopular. Last year, the UK government informed developers that they’d need to restrict access to loot boxes, with the added warning that if they didn’t, the government would bring in legislation to force their hand. More recently, Call of Duty players have confessed that microtransactions are ruining the franchise, while microtransaction-heavy mobile release Diablo Immortal earnt a whopping $24 million in its first two weeks of release alone. The crackdown on microtransactions is well underway though, with the Dutch government now seeking to ban loot boxes.
The Netherlands wouldn’t be the first country to block loot boxes. They’re already banned in Belgium. As reported by researcher Leon Y. Xiao (via GamesIndustry.biz), the Public Information Service confirmed the development via an email. The statement read, “As of this moment, there are plans for the Dutch government to improve the regulations for in-game purchases. One of the goals is to ban loot boxes in games.”
One day earlier, the Dutch minister of economic and climate policy had put out a call to action regarding the matter. The decision made to block loot boxes comes one year after six of the country’s political parties submitted a joint motion to the House of Representatives proposing the ban.
A few months ago, one FIFA player in Austria won a court battle after arguing that FUT packs were a form of gambling. The player took Sony to court, having purchased the packs through the PlayStation Store. They argued that they gambled €400. Sony was ordered to refund the player. I imagine we’ll see more countries take action against loot boxes in the coming years.