Loot boxes remain a heavily contested topic within the gaming industry. From those in Overwatch to packs in FIFA Ultimate Team, government institutions are becoming more involved in cracking down on these crates.
While largely enforcing microtransactions in AAA games, Australia could make loot boxes harder to obtain for those younger.
Australian MP Arranging A Bill To Ban Loot Box Sales To Minors
MP Andrew Wilkie will introduce the Classification Amendment next month. The legislation aims to stop games with loot boxes from targetting children. Instead, every game that incorporates these crates will have an automatic age rating of 18+ stamped on it when released in Australia.
If the amendment passes, games like FIFA would receive an age rating of 18+, as opposed to its current 3+.
Wilkie believes loot boxes are grooming premature children into gambling in the future:
We as a country accept that people over the age of 18 can gamble but let’s make that for adults and giving parents a warning.
Australia joins other countries in its efforts to restrict the sale of loot boxes to younger audiences. Germany is shifting towards adding similar age restrictions through its Youth Protection Act. On the other hand, Belgium and Netherlands have banned loot boxes entirely, claiming randomized crates are a form of gambling.
Certain games have already reformed internal strategies in order to conform with crate crackdowns. Counter-Strike Global Offensive has added an x-ray scanner, allowing players to view the contents of crates before purchasing. Rocket League has removed loot boxes entirely, replacing them with blueprints.
Whether the Australian legislation passes remains to be seen. But considering the revenue generated from loot boxes is likely to reach $20 billion by 2025, this form of microtransaction isn't going away anytime soon.