As regulation heats up, are gaming studios’ gambling games paying off? – TechCrunch

You will be hard nowadays, they are forced to find a game that does not include some form of microtransactions especially in mobile games. It only makes sense for game companies – an incredibly lucrative revenue stream, the microtransaction market worth 60 billion dollars in 2021 and is expected to reach $106 billion by 2026.

Usually offered as in-game collectibles, currency, or chance-based loot boxes, microtransactions are better received now than they were a few years ago. Loot boxes, a way for players to receive random in-game rewards in exchange for real money, have been deprecated for a while and are now increasingly under scrutiny by the government.

Loot boxes have become a problem because they encourage spending real money for a small chance of picking up valuable in-game items, more often than not leaving the player with nothing to display, except hope. want to keep gambling to get better items. Companies have been known to use predatory sales tactics to sell boxes of loot and, in the process, present minors with an avenue to gamble. Although Electronic Arts’ (EA) insists that crates are not gambling, and in fact, “unexpected mechanics“, Some studies have shown that there is a The link between loot boxes and gambling addiction.

Red tape buy back

When Belgium forbidden booty box in 2018, it looks like the first domino has fallen and other rules from other countries will be in place soon. However, the response after that was slow, even though countries like the UK agree that loot boxes are a problem need to be resolved.

One of the biggest hurdles facing countries trying to regulate lootboxes is that they don’t fit their current definition of what constitutes gambling, allowing companies to offer them. and continue to operate outside of traditional gambling regulations.

The Netherlands, following in the footsteps of the Belgian ban, tried to make the gears move by fine electronic art in 2019 with the inclusion of loot boxes in the popular FIFA franchise. This fine is was overturned earlier this year after appeal.

EA couldn’t celebrate their win for long, like the Netherlands now pushed to update the legal definition of gambling to ensure better regulation of loot boxes. It remains to be seen whether this leads to a total ban or to the EA requiring a gambling license and all the regulations that go with it. When that happens, it’s likely that EA will simply remove the offending loot boxes from games sold in the Netherlands, similar to their response to the Belgian ban.

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