With several studies linking ‘loot boxes’ to gambling, it is imperative that gambling regulators across the globe should address the issue – more so as children are the most vulnerable to loot boxes, a feature which allows players to unlock rewards against payment in video games.
Recently, a US senator, Josh Hawley called for a ban on loot boxes and introduced a bill that calls for imposing restrictions on loot boxes.
With industry trade groups maintaining that loot boxes are not gambling, Electronic Arts a popular game developer firm has denied that loot boxes are gambling.
EA’s Kerry Hopkins, said that loot boxes are “surprise mechanics” and that they are “quite ethical.”
Explaining the term’ surprise mechanics,’ Hopkins explained: “If you go to—I don’t know what your version of Target is—a store that sells lots of toys, and you do a search for surprise toys, what you’ll find is that this is something people enjoy. They enjoy surprises. And so, it’s something that’s been part of toys for years, whether it’s Kinder Eggs, or Hatchimals, or LOL Surprise. We do think the way that we have implemented these kinds of mechanics in FIFA—[which] of course is our big one, our FIFA Ultimate Team and our packs—is actually quite ethical and quite fun. Enjoyable to people.”
She said that her company does not believe that there is any evidence that links loot boxes to gambling.