Loot box Legality
by Ashley Robinson

Oh, we know. Just what you wanted to read from a gaming news section; “Legal papers”. Don’t worry, We promise not to bore you with legislation and all that. However, the ongoing conversation about lootboxes and their prominence in triple A titles will and is currently affecting how game developers create our favourite games, so it’s worth keeping your eye on the news feed with this one!

We all know lootboxes, right? Some games use it as a way of supporting their free to play model, others tack it on to their £60 title to make some extra cash on the side. Maybe you’re deep into the market, trading weapon skins or trying to get your favourite football player from a pack. Perhaps you’ve never spent a penny on optional extras and prefer to keep random chance out of your daily transactions. Either way, you’ve come across loot boxes in some form, whether its in the shape of cases, packs, capsules or boxes.

The house of lords gambling committee (Yes, that’s a real thing) has called for gaming loot boxes to be regulated under gambling laws. Their report reads “If a product looks like gambling and feels like gambling, it should be regulated as gambling”. This could mean that people under the gambling age won’t even be able to purchase the game in question, as age restrictions would become far more enforced under gambling laws.

You can see some game companies switching up how they present their loot box system – Counter-Strike had a revamp for their French players to comply with their laws and Fortnite did away with the whole system entirely for a few countries, such as Belgium and the Netherlands. Could we see a worldwide ban on these video game conventions – and how would the players react to such a drastic change?

It seems that the safest way for games to provide a similar service is the battle pass system – Obviously used in fortnite, but also prevalent in other titles such as Quake, Ring of Elysium; Heck, even Formula 1 2020. Is this the future of video gaming after all?