Loot boxes have been a hot topic ever since they first made their way to gaming. Some players see little harm, while others see them as a way to pay to win. Many of these complaints depend on the specific game. However, most complaints have been leveled at the likes of EA, who have used the boxes in almost all of their games in recent years.
In the past few months, however, it began to look like they might be on their way out. Because of the persistent complaints from players, several governments have begun looking into whether or not they constitute gambling. If they’re legally recognized as gambling, loot boxes would be regulated as such.
Legally Gambling, Almost
The French government has been looking into the topic for a while. However, their conclusion might be surprising. The regulatory agency ARJEL determined that the boxes “are undermining public policy goals for gambling.” It also called for a Europe wide strategy to address their ubiquity in the gaming industry.
However, in contrast to that, ARJEL also noted that they do not constitute a form of legal gambling, but it’s close. They dismissed the accusation that they constitute gambling as players always get something. This is in contrast to actual gambling, where players can walk away with nothing. With loot boxes, while players may not get exactly what they want, they do get something.
Because of that, the regulatory body determined that it doesn’t legally fit the description of gambling. Furthermore, because it wasn’t gambling, they didn’t have any power over it. That didn’t stop them from suggesting the Europe wide strategy, however. In their report, they said that while it wasn’t gambling, they are a problem for gamers.
However, they didn’t suggest exactly what could be done about it.
Source: PC Gamer.