Belgium Aims to Ban Loot Boxes
Belgium’s Gaming Commission has announced that it will attempt to ban loot boxes in Europe, after constituting blind microtransactions to be gambling.
The report comes from VTM News (spotted by PC Gamer), and marks the conclusion of an ongoing investigation into the role of loot boxes in video games, and whether they can be considered a form of gambling.
The commission ruled that randomized loot crates constitute “the mixing of money and addiction” and are therefore a form of gambling no different from the risk-focused games found in a modern casino.
Belgian Minister of Justice Koen Geens believes that if gamers are not provided with enough information and cannot fully understand the nature of the purchase, loot boxes and gambling elements within video games should be prohibited.
“Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child”.
The investigation and this latest ruling are in response to the recent controversy surrounding Star Wars Battlefront 2. EA came under fire for the inclusion of loot boxes in the multiplayer portion of the game, leading to a temporary deactivation of all microtransactions, apparently at the behest of Disney’s Bob Iger.
Geens also announced that the Belgian commission will be taking their concerns about video game gambling to Europe. “We will certainly try to ban [loot boxes]”.