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Germany is the next country coming for loot boxes

Published: 11:31, 09 March 2021
The standard loot box in Overwatch
Overwatch - Loot Box

Germany could be the next country to clamp down on loot boxes, as their government is currently considering a reform that could make them 18+ material.

The news comes from the German publication Der Spiegl, which reports that the Bundestag passed a reform of the 20-year-old Youth Protection Act, which could have a number of effects on age ratings in video games. 

Among them is the long-discussed protection of children from predatory monetisation mechanics, which could mean that loot boxes will be classified as for mature audiences only. 

If passed, for which the law needs to be approved by the Bundesrat, we could see the law in effect already in spring, 

Although the law would likely affect a number of games and their respective publishers, Der Spiegl singled out EA's FIFA series as one of the games to be affected by the reform. Of course, they're far from the only game that relies on loot boxes, but they're likely the most prominent on the PC and console fronts. 

As for the mobile games market, we're not sure what the reform could mean, seeing as how the mobile sector is pretty much infested by "surprise mechanics". This would mean that age controls should be tightened up significantly, but more on that if and when the law is passed. 

AltChar A wooden crate against a blue background with AltChar logo watermark AltChar: Loot Box

Loot boxes have been one of those things that have been talked about for the longest while, but not many countries put their words into practice. It wasn't until the Netherlands and Belgium took matters into their own hands and acted upon all the concerns around what sort of effects this may have on the youth. 

You can find Der Spiegl's piece here (in German).

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