It is estimated that loot boxes bring in some €24m a year for gaming companies and without regulation this will rise to €40m by 2020, NOS writes. Games now wear the lack of loot boxes as a badge of pride. The risk potential generally depends on the way loot boxes are offered. And today, these mechanics were struck another blow, this time in the Netherlands.
Those found in violation of the better gaming act now have eight weeks to alter their loot box systems to comply with the act's rules or they will face fines and potentially sales bans on their titles within the Netherlands. "Players can earn money if they get a rare item. As a result, the games violate the rules of chance". Until the Gambling Authority definitely establishes that a law was broken, the names of the games involved will not be revealed.
While the gaming authority didn't disclose which four games they found to violate the nation's gambling laws, Dutch broadcaster NOS outed them as Rocket League, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Dota 2, and Federation Internationale de Football Association 18. Kansspelautoriteit went on to say that it would be taking enforcement action against all violators of the gaming law from June 20, 2018.
It likened the loot boxes to the use of a slot machines or roulette.
That loot box systems encourage behavior even related to gambling seems to be one of the most major points of contention for the regulators, especially as it relates to children. "Young people in particular would be particularly vulnerable because their brains are still developing", the DGA assert.
The Netherlands aren't the only European country now investigating these matters either.
'The computer games have been designed like gambling games, and they give the player the feeling they have nearly won, ' gaming authority director Marja Appelman told broadcaster NOS 'When you open a loot box there are all sorts of sound effects and that encourages people to keep playing.' Appelman wants game designers to ban access to loot boxes for children and remove the addictive elements. Like it or not, in-game purchases are likely here to stay, and it's up to regulatory bodies throughout the video game playing world to protect their consumers from these behaviors.
That's up from under $30 billion this year.