A new report on lootboxes calls for tougher regulation of video gaming.
As regularly in Europe and around the world, lootboxes are debated. This time, it was a report from the Norwegian Consumer Council that set things on fire. The organization believes that the famous loot boxes, often accessible via real money (or virtual currency purchased via real money) and whose content is not known in advance, contribute to “exploitation” players and players.
⚠️Today we are publishing a report on how the gaming industry exploits consumers using lootboxes
20 organizations in 18 European countries are joining us and calling for better regulation of video games. 🎮https://t.co/V68erOe2z7#lootbox #gaming #darkpatterns #deceptivedesign pic.twitter.com/BjkzqgqPkG
— 🇺🇦Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad (@finnmyrstad) May 31, 2022
FIFA 22 and Raid Shadow Legends targeted
If the Norwegian report made noise in the EU, it is because it was signed by the consumer protection agencies of 18 member countries, who are now calling for better regulation of video games.
Particularly targeted are pay-to-win and free-to-play titles (or should we say games with free access according to the new recommendations of the French Language Enrichment Commission), whose methods are proving often aggressive to convince players to checkout. In its report, the Norwegian Consumer Council specifically cites FIFA 22and his “wide arsenal of tricks to trick consumers into spending as much time and money as possible by exploiting consumers who hope to receive the reward despite a slim chance and probability of doing so“.
Loot boxes, pubs… how to make a video game profitable without giving in to pay-to-win?
In the case of Fifa in particular, it is the FUT mode which is singled out, packs containing random bonuses, and can only be purchased with real money. The Electronic Arts blockbuster is not left out, however, since the mobile game Raid Shadow Legendswhich works on the same principle, and “continually encourages players to spend money to receive random virtual items”.
Can the EU ban lootboxes?
If lootboxes are banned on the Old Continent, this will undoubtedly be the result of a global European decision rather than an isolated initiative by a few states. Loot boxes are still very controversial, both ethically and legally. Remember that as with any prize obtained randomly via real money, these are subject to the game of chanceand should theoretically be prohibited for minors, as is already the case in Belgium.