The National Committee for Games Policy rises up as EA literally Mortal Kombated with their Star Wars Loot boxes
While the knocks won’t stop coming for Electronic Arts and the much maligned Star Wars Battlefront 2, a group formed from gaming industry veterans has appeared that wants to keep this loot box problem from getting any worse.
As Mortal Kombat would in a way create the ESRB, these recent controversies have given rise to the National Committee for Games Policy. The new group has two sections, a think-tank and a self-regulatory organization. The self-regulatory portion would be the part investigating seedy video game companies and could even move to take legal action.
While it’s hardly the first game to have Loot boxes, Star Wars Battlefront II was clearly the straw that broke gamer’s back, with the progression systems inspiring politicians to look into the monetization scheme already. The National Committee for Games Policy has a full press release that you can read just below.
As a result of the increasing external pressure for reform and regulation on the games industry, a group of industry leaders and experts has agreed to come together in a more permanent way, forming the National Committee for Games Policy (NCGP). We made this decision in response to the current crisis regarding the expansion of loot crate economies and concerns about unregulated online gambling, but also as an acceptance of a long in coming decision that we knew would eventually become necessary. Games are not represented or understood in the modern political and judicial world, and that needs to change.
Unlike the IGDA, we are not an association of game developers. We are a coalition of high level industry experts and influencers. Membership in the NCGP is by invite only. We will work on the behalf of games industry professionals of all political leanings. In order to do this, the NCGP has appointed a steering committee with significant political experience on both ends of the spectrum. Where video games, politics, and law intersect, you will be sure to find the NCGP.
The first action of the NCGP is its creation; a privately funded think tank known as the ITK. The work of the NCGP ITK is to represent itself as a group of consummate professionals from every part of the video game community. We seek to represent the entire industry, and as such will not release opinions on differences within the industry except as they relate to public policy. Members names will only be released if they give permission, and their writing reflects their own opinions. The NCGP will never take a position on policy; we will give policy makers the information the information they need to make informed decision. Our political connections will get this information to them.
The second and much more important arm of the NCGP is our establishment of the video game industry’s first, and de facto, self regulatory organization. Independent of the think tank is the NCGP SRO. As an SRO, our purpose is to protect consumers from unscrupulous video game companies by investigating and bringing legal action against those companies that have damaged the public consciousness in some way, whether mental or physical. To do this we’ve enlisted the aid of game developer’s employees as well. By establishing the first video game industry whistleblower center, we’re able to help the video game industry fight things such as overtime pay.
As part of our work as an SRO, we will release a quarterly list of companies who we have cited and the reason for citation. While we do hope to help as many people as possible, a complaint doesn’t become a citation without further investigation and action by the NCGP.