US Senator Josh Hawley is confident in passing a bill known as the “Protecting children from abusive games act”. You’d think I’m talking about a crude game but no, this is something bigger. The bill aims to tackle loot boxes and pay-to-win microtransactions and ban them from video games.
The biggest example the senator used was Candy Crush with its $150 luscious bundle. The bill targets games that are specifically catered to children. This means we could see a lot of mobile games being targeted as well as some AAA games made for kids such as Fortnite.
The Entertainment Software Association pushed a response statement forward to the proposal of this bill. The response read:
“Numerous countries, including Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, determined that loot boxes do not constitute gambling. We look forward to sharing with the senator the tools and information the industry already provides that keeps the control of in-game spending in parents’ hands. Parents already have the ability to limit or prohibit in-game purchases with easy to use parental controls.”
This doesn’t exclude games like Apex Legends or Overwatch, however. Although not primarily for children, the developers are aware that children play them as well. This is why the bill will most likely affect a very wide range of games if it’s passed. If we consider disasters pertaining to these microtrasactions in the past (there are several examples), Loot Boxes and microtrasactions in games do seem like a big evil.
The loot box system has been compared to gambling several times in the past. To be honest, it pretty much is gambling.
You’re essentially paying for something which could potentially give you nothing. The system started off in mobile games and leaked its way into mainstream games as well. The bill from Senator Hawley supports this claim.
Pay-to-win microtransactions are something everybody besides the developers and publishers hates. Once again, the trend began from mobile gaming. Now it exists in even the biggest titles such as Mortal Kombat 11.
Microtransactions in general are a plague on full priced video games that developers should be ashamed of putting. Sadly they aren’t and gamers are just as equally to blame for constantly feeding their wallets to these greedy corporations.