Star Wars Battlefront II Loot Boxes Under Investigation in Belgium
Ron Perillo / 8 months ago
Belgium’s Gaming Commission is investigating a possible violation of terms concerning loot boxes in games. Specifically, EA’ Star Wars Battlefront II and Blizzard’s Overwatch. Loot boxes are purchasable virtual in-game items containing bonuses. However, due to the random nature of the content, and the fact that the buyer does not know what they are getting, this constitutes legally as gambling.
Gambling for Children
Both Overwatch and Star Wars Battlefront II have a PEGI rating of 12. Which makes the loot box system disturbing. As it is essentially promoting gambling to minors, according to Peter Nassens, General Director of the commission. If the commission finds the gambling charge fitting, then the game would require a gambling permit to continue. Without it, the game would be taken off the shelves and banned. This would also involve paying a fine worth hundreds of thousands of Euros.
Although this is currently only in Belgium, it sets a precedent which could ripple out across the entire EU. It would also have a ripple effect with similar games using the same loot box money-making scheme. Considering the video game industry is worth more than film industry, a closer look by the government is only going to increase down the line. In fact, a similar proposal to classify loot boxes as gambling have already been put forth in the UK parliament last month.