USA senator proposes ban on loot boxes and microtransactions

US Senator Introduces Bill to Ban Loot Boxes & P2W Microtransactions

Sweden is also investigating them. It wasn't until late a year ago that the government began to look into the idea of looking into loot boxes.

"Internet-based life and computer games go after client enslavement, siphoning our children's consideration from this present reality and extricating benefits from cultivating urgent propensities", Hawley said in an announcement.

The bill, called "The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act" is expected to be officially introduced by Senator Hawley to the US Senate soon. "Game developers who knowingly exploit children should face legal consequences", Hawley added.

At the very least, though, Senator Hawley's proposed bill has sparked new discussion, forcing the gaming industry to directly address something it has long attempted to downplay or otherwise ignore.

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If it's any indication of who the bill be targeting, Activision's mobile hit, Candy Crush, was cited in press materials announcing the bill, using the game's $150 "Luscious Bundle" as an example of a pay-to-win structure. Most games and platforms also include parental locks on payment, require some sort of password/smart phone app confirmation, or allow you to simply not store a payment method in order to prevent intentional or accidental purchases.

The ESA has previously said that efforts to regulate the gaming industry threatened its freedom to innovate and test new business models.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said he will introduce federal legislation that would prohibit video game "loot boxes" or randomized assortments of digital weapons, clothing and other items that can be purchased for a fee. There are other games that don't have a randomized box with in-game power-ups but still have in-game currency.

Games targeted at those under the age of 18.

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Typically, players will not know what is inside a loot box until it is opened.

Researchers interviewed 144 adult gamers and 113 undergraduates about their use of loot boxes.

Though they are correct that these systems don't technically or legally fall under the umbrella of "gambling", it's undeniable that they're built around similar structures of addiction. There companies like EA, Square Enix and 2K have turned off the option of buying loot boxes with real money to comply with Belgian law. Fortunately, a number of jurisdictions are in now reviewing the matter with and soon both the industry stakeholders and the consumers will be aware of what the relevant authorities perceive the controversial in-games items as. The game is free, and like many titles these days, it offers in-game purchases.

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