As proof for this suggestion, the report factors to a 2018 Gambling Commission survey which discovered that 31 % of 11 to 16-year-olds have paid cash or used in-game gadgets to open loot boxes. It additionally singled out the FIFA sequence for significantly egregious use of loot field mechanics, each as a result of Electronic Arts (EA) says roughly half of the cash the corporate makes from additional digital content material comes from the loot box-like Ultimate Team mode in FIFA, and since rewards earned in a single sport can’t be transferred over to the following sport within the sequence. The report offers an instance of a gamer who usually spent £800 to £1000 a yr on FIFA due to this cycle.
The Committee acknowledged that there is not definitive proof that utilizing loot boxes can flip folks into drawback gamblers, however factors to research in youngsters which present that they’re extra susceptible to creating drawback gambling habits from loot field play than adults are. The difficulty is not that loot field mechanics flip folks into gambling addicts, consultants stated, it is that they reap the benefits of some folks’s psychological predispositions to gambling: “It is not that it is a gateway; it is that it is a way that video games companies may, accidentally or incidentally, be profiting from problem gambling among their consumers,” Dr David Zendle informed the Committee.
Famously, EA rejected the characterization of their loot field system as exploitative, telling Parliament that loot boxes had been “surprise mechanics” that had been “actually quite ethical and quite fun”. The Committee was not persuaded by this although, and really useful that “loot boxes that contain the element of chance should not be sold to children playing games”. It additionally really useful that video games containing loot boxes which might be bought for real-world cash ought to be labelled as gambling and have corresponding gambling legal guidelines utilized to them.
The suggestions from the Committee aren’t legal guidelines, however the authorities could select to take the suggestions and start regulating loot boxes within the UK.