The Problem Isn’t Loot Boxes, It’s the Lack of Regulation

The games industry has been exposed to intense scrutiny for years over its inability to regulate loot boxes. Will Bucher, a litigation associate recently spoke at the Games Developers Conference (GDC), where he reviewed some of the legal pitfalls and loopholes concerning loot boxes around the globe.

Bucher expressed that loot boxes aren’t actually the problem. The problem is the lack of regulation, which can lead to loot boxes being used for alternative purposes, like creating compulsion loops intended to keep players playing longer than they may have intended.

Loot boxes have been linked to problem gambling and there have been calls for them to be banned. However, at the GDC the focus of conversation was still that loot boxes remain largely unregulated. Only the Netherlands and Belgium have asserted any level of control in Europe concerning loot boxes, with the Belgium Gaming Commission (BGC) threatening to take EA to court. In contrast, most other countries in Europe and U.S. have left loot boxes alone.

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