If you read gambling and gaming news in the past few months you have surely noticed that loot boxes are one of the most discussed topics. The implementation of loot boxes and their effects were discussed in the House of Commons a while ago and there’s increased pressure on the government to act on the matter.
There’ll be no more loot boxes on Rocket League
Pressure is mounting on operators that are launching video games featuring loot boxes and that has been more than evident lately. Some video game providers have realised that it will be a lot easier for them to give up on loot boxes altogether and look at alternative in-game purchase options.
Psyonix – a popular video game developer known for ARC Squadron and Rocket League, has already announced that their games will no longer include loot boxes or the option to purchase them. Psyonix are also going to replace loot boxes in some of their existing games, most notably the mega popular Rocket League, a game that’s played by thousands of children.
The new system aimed at replacing loot boxes will be launched in December. Rocket League will be updated, and players will no longer have the option to purchase randomised crates, i.e. loot boxes.
Players will still be able to make in-game purchases, but the products that they will be purchasing will be more transparent, so they will know what they’re getting. The reasoning behind this is that when the surprise element is removed, the activity no longer resembles gambling, so that issue is dealt with. Of course, the company will still have the opportunity to earn extra funds, as it is difficult to imagine any game provider giving up on that option.
The findings of the Committee will have an impact
The new system is called Blueprint and it will give players an opportunity to know what they’ll be buying. The company has already announced the changes and laid the basic principles of the new system.
Psyonix isn’t the only company to ban the sale of loot boxes, many other providers have already removed loot boxes from their games, and this has been attributed to pressure from authorities. As we mentioned above and as we’ve discussed in previous news pieces, certain countries have already classified loot boxes as gambling.
Fortnite, one of the most popular games nowadays has already removed loot boxes at the beginning of this year, i.e. remove the surprise element. Players who purchase loot boxes in Fortnite know exactly what they’re getting when they complete the purchase.
The goal of the banning loot boxes is to protect children as they are most affect and it has been reported on numerous occasions that many children are addicted to loot boxes.
The Chairman of the DCMS Committee, Damian Collins said that loot boxes come at a high cost because they expose children to a harmful practice, but that some companies are keen to push them because are very lucrative for game providers.
Collins also stated that a purchase of a loot box is a game of chance and that should be reflected in gambling laws and regulations. The Committee has challenged the Government to explain why loot boxes should be excluded from the Gambling Act.
The findings of the Committee are just recommendations for the time being, but if the Government decides to act on them it could force companies to give up on loot boxes altogether.
A representative of a London-based law company stated that the findings of the Committee should be taken seriously and will certainly have an effect on the legal landscape in the UK.