Well, that’s a shame.
Loot boxes are now in the public eye, with several governments and legislatures around the world looking at them to try and understand what implications they might have as gambling. Many have ruled that they are gambling, and are moving to have them legislated. Others, however, contend they are not, often on sheer semantics.
The latest government body to join that latter list is the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs. Responding to a request for a comment from Gamasutra, Trish Milward from the Gambling Compliance office of its Department of Internal Affairs emphasized that loot boxes do not, in fact, meet the legal definition of gambling- at least, as outlined in New Zealand’s Gambling Act 2003. In any case, gambling with overseas players and entities is allowed in New Zealand, so legislation for loot boxes would have been difficult to begin with.
Even if governments fail to take any meaningful action on loot boxes at this point, however, one thing is very clear- a this point, the fear of backlash alone will make companies think twice about putting abusive loot boxes in games.