Hawaii is calling for regulation on loot boxes.
EA really poked the hornet’s nest one too many times, didn’t they? We already reported how Belgian authorities are looking at having loot boxes be legally declared as gambling, and banned from games; now, it looks like EA has also drawn the eye and ire of politicians in the US, as Hawaiian Democrat politician Chris Lee has publicly singled out EA and Battlefront 2 for ‘predatory practices,’ calling for legislation that will control loot boxes in gaming.
“We’re here today to ensure future protections for kids, youth and everyone when it comes to the spread of predatory practices in online gaming, and the significant financial consequences it can have – and has been having – on families around this nation,” Lee said.
“This game is a Star Wars-themed online casino designed to lure kids into spending money; it’s a trap. This is something we need to address to ensure that particularly kids who are underage, who are not psychologically and emotionally mature enough to be able to gamble – which is why gambling is prohibited under 21 – are protected from being trapped into these cycles which have compelled many folks to spend thousands of dollars in gaming fees online.”
Lee went on to explicitly say that there would be legislation to bring loot boxes under control.
“We’re looking at legislation this coming year which could prohibit the sale of these games to folks who are underage in order to protect families, as well as prohibiting different kinds of mechanisms in those games. We’ve been talking with several other states as well – legislators there who are looking at the same thing. This is the appropriate time to make sure these issues are addressed before this becomes the new norm for every game.”
In other words- by being too greedy, EA might have actually drawn attention to the egregious, exploitative, abusive, and yes, predatory practice that is RNG governed loot box payouts in full priced AAA gaming- legislation which will probably end up leading to significant curtailing, if not end, of the practice entirely.
It will be a welcome respite- just this year, several high profile games have resorted to loot boxes, including but not limited to, Destiny 2, Call of Duty: World War 2, Forza Motorsport 7, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, NBA 2K18, PUBG, and many, many more. Maybe in the future, we can look forward to playing actual games without worrying about how they will be out to nickel and dime us. Thanks, EA!