Fifteen EU-based regulators plus Washington State have made a joint declaration while Australian based study likens loot boxes to gambling, not baseball cards
Fifteen EU gambling regulators from the UK, Ireland, France, Austria, Poland, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Spain, the Isle of Man, Malta, Portugal, Jersey, Norway, and the Netherlands plus US representation from the Washington State Gambling
Regulator published the letter, noting their concerns with the business model.
In addition to the loot box problem, the letter addresses how it will take on websites that let players either gamble or sell in-game items like skins or weapons with real-world money.
One of the signatories, Neil McArthur, CEO of the UK Gambling Commission said:
We have joined forces to call on video games companies to address the clear public concern around the risks gambling and some video games can pose to children. We encourage video games companies to work with their gambling regulators and take
action now to address those concerns to make sure that consumers, and particularly children, are protected.
The letter speaks of the groups concerns but does not detail the direction sthat the group will take in reacting to the concerns.
According to VentureBeat, a study conducted by the Australian Parliament's Environment and Communications References Committee showed that there were links between loot box spending and problematic gambling. The population sample size was 7500
The more severe a gamers' problem gambling was, the more likely they were to spend large amounts of money on loot boxes. These results strongly support claims that loot boxes are psychologically akin to gambling, said the report, conducted by Dr.
David Zendle and Dr. Paul Cairns.
In a statement, the pair added loot boxes could potentially act as an introduction to gambling or take advantage of gambling disorders. They note that the industry tends to brush off loot boxes as similar to harmless products like baseball cards,
football/soccer stickers, and products along those lines.
In related news games maker EA could face legal issues for ignoring a ruling by the Belgian government to remove the Ultimate Team portion from FIFA 18.
Online game distributor Steam has approved its first uncensored adult game, Negilgee : Love Stories.
Steam had announced its change of policy in June of this year ironically after a bit of backlash when Steam proposing to step up the censorship of adult games. The previous policy required explicit content to be censored at sale but allowed
subsequent patches to restore the cuts.
On Friday, Dharker Studios is slated to start selling an uncensored version of its game Negilgee : Love Stories, which features nudity and sex scenes.
Other developers have also submitted uncensored games for approval on Steam.
An indie developer called Kagura Games, meanwhile, said some developers have already put up their uncensored games up for review, so we'll be following that closely, and consult with Steam to decide what the best course of action is for releasing
our future titles on Steam.
Video games sold in Eureopean stores are set to carry a new label warning that the game includes in-game purchases.
Popular titles like Fortnite and FIFA are examples of games that generate revenue using this approach.
The labels are pitched as a warning to parents that their children need to be watched lest they spend significant money on digital items.
Last December, the Metro reported that a teenager had accidentally spent his mother's entire monthly wage on FIFA 18 because her debit card was registered to his PlayStation account.
PEGI (Pan European Game Information) - which provides age ratings for games in the UK - has now announced it plans to introduce a new badge for physical releases to help inform parents as they shop.Simon Little, managing director at the
classification board, said:
Making parents aware of the existence of optional in-game purchases upfront is an important first step. FIFA allows players to spend extra money to build their teams.