Several members of the Bavarian state government are calling for more protection of minors in video games with loot boxes. They advocate viewing loot boxes in an application as a game of chance and shielding young people from it. Gambling in video games or games of chance like agen bola has been a concern for a number of years. The loot boxes in the widely held open-world game “GTA Online” are fueling the debate.
What are loot boxes?
In the mid-2000s, loot boxes have first appeared in Asian video games. They are now an essential part of countless popular games such as the battle royal game “Fortnite” and the sports simulation “FIFA 19”. With real money, the boxes can be bought. They have virtual objects. These can be exclusively cosmetic as in the case of “Fortnite”, for example, a new skin for your character. However, they can also have a significant impact on success in the game, as is the case, for example, with the “Ultimate Team” game mode in “FIFA 19”. The contents of the boxes are random, there are common and rare items. So if you are unlucky you will only get bad items that are worth significantly less in the in-game market.
The case of “FIFA 19” – gambling or not?
In particular, the game mode “Ultimate Team” of the popular football simulation series “FIFA” is repeatedly criticized. In the game, you can buy packs containing random players for real money. Decent players upgrade a team significantly so that they can be used to become more successful in online games. Therefore, the game mode falls into the “Pay to Win” category. Frequently even hundreds of money are not enough to build a strong team right from the start. A similarity with gambling can hardly be denied.
This is mainly problematic since the game is approved for ages 0 and up. Buying packs for real money is permitted only from the age of 18, but the safety regulations can easily be bypassed on the consoles. In Belgium, you can no longer put money into “FIFA 19”. The Belgian government professed loot boxes to be prohibited. Developer Electronic Arts reluctantly gave in and removed the in-game purchases from the Belgian version of the game.