Concerned individuals are petitioning the UK government to consider regulation for loot box systems in video games. The rationale behind the petition is that various loot box systems represent a form of gambling embedded into video games and should be regarded as such by the law.
Gambling with loot box delivered CS skins has grown a minor industry around it, with sites dedicated to the practice and a decent amount of controversy surrounding various companies and individuals making a solid profit off the back of it. Loot box systems in and Battlefront 2 are already causing a bit of an uproar, and sites like OpenCritic are now making moves in order to at least raise awareness of how increasingly problematic blatant Skinner box design elements are becoming.
A wider public gaze was bound to fall on loot boxes and all of the accompanying business models sooner or later. Concerned gamers from the UK have now started a petition, aiming to direct the UK government towards regulating loot boxes in some manner.
"Many video game companies in recent years have introduced mechanics which are essentially gambling of which are targeted at children and vulnerable adults. While not currently considers gambling by law they do copy many traits to make them as addictive and can lead to real money being lost/earned", the petition .
There are currently close to 8000 signatures of the total 10,000 required for the UK government to officially reply to the petition on record, and with 100,000 signatures loot boxes will be considered for debate in Parliament.
Petitioning the government to consider a matter gaming related may come as a bit of a surprise, but that surprise might turn to shock once you take the vast amounts of money on the table into account. There is also that corrupting our youth element that politicians just love pushing for a whole mess of reasons beyond the legitimate ones.
China has already taken some steps towards regulating loot boxes earlier this year, buy forcing publishers and developers to disclose exact odds and drop rates for loot box systems. We will know whether the UK government sees fit to address the issue in the coming months.