DCMS launched the call for evidence on loot boxes, to establish whether loot boxes lead to problem gambling or not.
Loot boxes are one of the most controversial issues and there is growing pressure on regulators to ban loot boxes or at least regulate them. At the recent workshop six concerns were raised and some suggestions were offered.
New calls to classify loot boxes as gambling, over concerns that it could lead children to develop gambling habits. If loot boxes are classified as gambling, game development companies would need to work around that.
Tim Sweeny, the co-founder of Epic Games, said that loot boxes can ‘cause harm’ so that they should be banned from the games.
In addition to pressure on the UK Government from charities and other organisations to classify loot boxes and gambling, now the Children’s Commissioner also asks for ban on loot boxes.
Popular game Rocket League will no longer feature loot boxes of the standard format, i.e. players will know what they’re buying if they decide to purchase anything in-game.
Loot boxes are a huge market, and companies sell $30 billion of loot boxes annually. But the nature of loot boxes is very close to gambling and there's increased pressure on the Government to regulate and restrict the sell of loot boxes.
The UK Parliament, i.e. the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee discussed loot boxes and their status. It appears that lawmakers all agree that loot boxes are gambling and that the Government should take extra measures to ensure that children are protected.