There is an ongoing debate right now regarding loot boxes and microtransactions in video games. Some feel that because there is no guarantee of what you’ll get in a loot box that when you pay money for it, it is constituted as gambling. However not everyone feels that way, such as New Zealand’s own gambling regulator.
Speaking to Gamasutra, New Zealand’s Gambling Compliance office of its Department of Internal Affairs said that, “the Department is of the view that loot boxes do not meet the legal definition of gambling.” Of course whether or not it meets the legal definition is one thing, but recently a 19-year old penned a long open letter to EA speaking about the effects that loot boxes and microtransactions had on his life, and not in a positive way either.
However loot boxes and microtransactions are a popular way for developers and publishers to make money these days, beyond just selling a copy of the game. We’ve seen how titles like Candy Crush have managed to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars just from selling in-game items alone, so as you can imagine, they’ll want to milk it for all its worth.
In any case we suppose only time will tell if the authorities will want to do something about it, or if maybe developers themselves will take action.
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