I have, along with a large portion of the gaming community, stated on repeated occasions my extreme distaste for loot boxes and microtransactions. Well, after the furore that broke out from EA’s heinous implementation of the system in Star Wars Battelfront II, the publicity seems to have got people looking into these practices. In Belgium, the Minister of Justice, Koen Geens, has just declared loot boxes to be gambling and intends to move to ban them in the European Union. He said (via Google translate) –
Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child.
He then went on to talk about how he wanted to instigate a ban but that it wouldn’t be simple –
But that takes time because we have to go to Europe. We will certainly try to ban it.
What this will mean for the gaming industry and in particularly free-to-play, we’ll have to wait and find out.