Tradeable loot boxes declared illegal in the Netherlands
In a study released last week, The Netherlands Gaming Authority (NGA) has concluded that some video games are breaking the law by offering so-called loot boxes.
Loot boxes are in-game purchases in which the buyer does not know what is in the box until after the purchase. A box can contain in-game items such as cosmetic changes to one’s avatar, as well as items that make playing easier.
The NGA uses two factors to decide the legality of loot boxes. If chance determines the contents of a loot box and if loot boxes can be traded outside the game environment, the loot box is in violation of Dutch gambling laws. The NGA is giving manufacturers the opportunity to improve their loot box systems. From 20 June 2018 onwards, the authority will start taking measures against non-compliant manufacturers.
According to NOS, four games from NGA’s study that contain transferable loot boxes are Fifa18, Dota2, PubG and Rocket League.
Earlier this month South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission fined four local video game companies for allegedly deceptive loot box promotions, The Korea Herald writes.
You can read the NGA’s report in English at its website (PDF).