The UK government has been busy piling up and analyzing evidence in regards to loot boxes for almost two years now, and they finally have an opinion to share with the gaming industry. The government has issued its definitive response to the gaming industry, and it calls for the platform providers and the industry as a whole to… self-regulate!
They don’t want to meddle with the gaming industry and introduce their own specific legislation because that would be a tad bit tedious. However, if the companies fail to regulate, the UK government will have no other option but to introduce legislative action in the future.
The Dangers of Loot Boxes?
The government claims that the purchase of loot boxes may be linked to a variety of “harms.” In fact, they consider loot box purchases the equivalent of gambling for in-game items.
We’ve seen it all before with the CSGO case opening hype and the online in-game gambling fiasco that happened a few years ago, so it isn’t far from the truth if we’re being honest. The government has found a causal relationship between loot box purchases and gambling, and there is a range of plausible explanations to underpin this association.
The UK government went on to call game companies and all other platforms to place protections for children, young people, adults, and in general, all players for that matter. It appears that an industry-led approach within the first few instances could avoid the risks of unintended consequences concerning legislation.
This could enable the development of the necessary tools and information that can work across what is considered a varied sector. While legislation could work, Industry based measures would be all the more adaptable and will able to keep pace with the ever-changing, fast-paced environment revolving around in-game purchases. This could be considered a lot more effective in contrast to legislative options.
The UK government considers premature legislative action to be an ineffective route. For now, the government is handing the keys over to the Industry leaders and platforms to take the necessary precautions and measures to protect children, young people, and adults. And maybe it’s the right choice, all things considered.
In addition to this statement, the government pondered if there should be an amendment to include loot boxes in the Gambling Act. Despite the stance taken by the House of Lords Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry, the UK is going easy on loot boxes and currently won’t be classifying them as gambling.
The government took careful and considerable thought into the matter and decided it was best not to include loot boxes in the gambling category. But that’s not to say that the government doesn’t consider loot boxes as gambling.
It does, and it wants to mitigate the risk of harm it could do to children and young adults. However, the aforementioned step would come with its share of limitations which is why it’d be wiser to look for other more lenient policy solutions.
So, do you think the government took the right step, or should they have taken legislative action? We aren’t experts here, but loot boxes have been a contentious issue ever since the CSGO gambling saga, where people spent hundreds of dollars at a small chance of getting a shiny knife, gloves, or the infamous AWP Dragon Lore and AWP Medusa that can sell for upwards of tens of thousands of dollars on the Steam Market.
So far, the government wants to sit back and observe how the gaming industry handles this. And if they don’t, things might get ugly with the impending threat of legislative action! Stay updated by keeping in touch with us at Appuals for more!