Regulators in both the UK and the US have been probing the loot box algorithms discovered in many titles to see if they must be measured as gambling. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Committee of the UK Government has now launched a report which objects a “lack of transparency and honesty” from the gaming sector about the possible dangers of game mechanics such as loot boxes. The report also suggests that titles having loot boxes must be managed as gambling and not be traded to kids particularly.
As proof for this suggestion, the report highlights to a 2018 Gambling Commission study which discovered that 31% of 11–16-year-olds have used in-game items or paid money to unlock loot boxes. It also pointed to the FIFA series for specifically egregious employment of loot box mechanics, both because awards earned in one title cannot be conveyed over to the next title in the series, and because EA (Electronic Arts) claims almost 50% of the money the firm creates from additional digital content arrives from the loot box-skin Ultimate Team mode in the game. The report offers an instance of a user who normally spent £800–1000 yearly on FIFA due to this cycle.
On a related note, earlier Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo have decided to reveal the chances of getting highly-wanted-after gear within loot boxes.
They will need all publishers of forthcoming Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch titles to disclose the odds of earning rare products. Some users do so already, and various others have decided to make the revelations in their upcoming games. Those who have enrolled comprise Bandai Namco, Activision Blizzard, Bungie, Bethesda, Take-Two Interactive, EA, Wizards of the Coast, Ubisoft, and Warner Bros.
The initiative does not expand to other services, with PC being the primary omission. Yet, you can possibly anticipate some publishers to reveal loot box chances there as well.