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Restrict Loot Boxes Or Face Legislation, Says UK Government

Kate Harrold

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Restrict Loot Boxes Or Face Legislation, Says UK Government

Featured Image Credit: Activision Blizzard, Soumil Kumar via Pexels

The prevalence of microtransactions in the gaming industry has certainly grown in recent years. Just this week, Unity CEO John Riccitiello called developers who aren’t looking to implement microtransactions “f***ing idiots”. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t go down well.

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Diablo Immortal perfectly exemplifies the issue with microtransactions which raked in $24 million during its first two weeks of release. Despite their unpopularity, plenty of people will make in-game purchases. As such, the UK Government is warning the industry that action needs to be taken soon.

Skate 4 developers recently promised that the game wouldn’t contain paid loot boxes. Check out the title’s latest playtest footage below.

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Today, the UK Government sent a stark message to the gaming industry advising that loot boxes should be restricted. As reported by gamesindustry.biz, if change isn’t seen, legislation could be introduced. In 2020, The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport launched an enquiry into loot boxes. Whilst they don’t classify as gambling, the enquiry revealed that players who do buy loot boxes are “more likely to experience gambling, mental health, financial and problem gaming-related harms.”

The Government has said that children and young people should not be able to purchase loot boxes without parental consent, praising Xbox’s parental controls. The report goes on to suggest that games should support players who purchase loot boxes, as well as use in-game messaging to signify to players that loot boxes are not necessary to progress within the game. Other suggestions include introducing a limit on the number of boxes that can be purchased, or pausing spending on certain accounts. “Generous refund policies” are also advised.

Ukie, the UK’s gaming industry trade association, responded to the report stating, “As a responsible industry, we have committed to exploring additional ways to support players and parents to build on our existing work developing and raising awareness of parental controls. We look forward to engaging closely with the Government and other organisations in the working group and on the Video Games Research Framework.”

Topics: World News

Kate Harrold
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