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20 consumer groups in Europe push for loot box regulations

I blame Diablo Immortal for this.
loot box with eu flag
Credit: MobileBytesGG

Loot boxes and other gacha mechanics are something present in many of the most popular mobile games. Now, 20 consumer groups in 18 European countries are calling for regulations.

Revealed by GamesIndustry.biz, the Norwegian Consumer Council’s report highlights two case studies. These case studies involve the games FIFA 22 and the infamous Raid: Shadow Legends.

The report also calls into question in-game currencies. It notes that these currencies have evolved to “exploit gamers.”

So, what happens now?

The Consumer Council is calling for regulations in video games that feature mechanics that can be considered gambling. Changes would include banning “deceptive design” and being more transparent about rates and algorithms.

Additionally, developers would be required to sell their in-game items using real-world currency. That would mean that gamers wouldn’t buy “gems” or “crystals” before using that currency to open loot boxes or buy in-game items.

The final regulation — and this one could be a major one — involves children. Essentially, regulators want to put an end to loot boxes in games marketed to minors. This point will be a big hurdle for both regulators and developers.

Ultimately, time will tell if these regulators affect loot box and gacha mechanics for games in Europe.

Some countries are already taking action. Belgium and Netherlands use existing gambling laws to restrict many games with loot boxes. Australia has also been addressing loot boxes for a handful of years now.


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