Loot boxes have been a topic of discussion for a while now. It has been debated upon on whether they should be considered as a form of gambling or not. The discussion or rather the question around loot boxes has become a serious issue around the world with countries considering to ban them from free-play video games.
In a more recent case, Electronic Arts (EA) has been caught up in the controversy over their Star Wars: Battlefront II. The video game was released on November 17, 2017, and gave players the option to buy loot boxes with real money.
This was not taken well by many critics and politicians. More specific Chris Lee who is a member of Hawaii’s House of Representatives.
Chris Lee’s Problem with Loot Boxes
Chris Lee has released a video in which he explains why he thinks that loot boxes can be considered as gambling. His point was leading towards the children who will be playing the video games and how this will affect them. In the statement, he mentions that the Star Wars game is an online casino themed game that lures kids to spend money.
The Belgium Gaming Commission
Prior to the release of Star Wars: Battlefront II, the Belgium Gaming Commission had started to investigate the video game loot boxes. From their investigation, they have decided that these in-game purchases are gambling and they want them banned. The minister of Justice in Belgium plans to get the loot boxes banned from video games to be released in Europe in the future.
A day before the release of the Star Wars: Battlefront II video game, EA decided to turn off in-game purchases temporarily. According to a statement they made, they will make changes to the game and turn on the in-game purchases at a later stage.
Many gamers complained about why they still need to purchase game content that is supposed to be included in the cost of the game.
What are Loot Boxes?
Loot boxes are virtual items in a video game that help a player improve their gaming experience. They are unlocked when players redeem them while playing the games or they can be bought to be opened by keys found while playing. However, this can be considered not to be gambling as players have the choice to use them or not.