Oh look, I was right again (lootbox laws)

I predicted that politicians will jump on lootboxes like sharks on a wounded target.

Now here is the news that Germany is about to ban lootboxes completely. This legislation proposal in Hawaii wants to ban all randomized rewards.

Oh, and I was also right about the angle of the legislation: save the children. They want to make the games with random rewards 18/21+ (and ban some practices completely). If you are still in disbelief, mark my words: in a year or two, the gaming industry will be just as regulated as Casinos.

It wasn’t a wild guess, politicians regulate everything that has money in it. Why other people (including the executives who OK-ed lootboxes) didn’t see this? Because social people tend to think of the status quo as normal. The internet was unregulated, so it will be unregulated. However this was only true because no one made enough money on the internet to matter. As long as it changed, the politicians changed too.

Author: Gevlon

My blog: https://greedygoblinblog.wordpress.com/

6 thoughts on “Oh look, I was right again (lootbox laws)”

  1. Well… No. Or rather, not yet, and not everywhere.

    In the bold paragraph at the bottom of your 2017-11-24 post, you predicted that it would be illegal. According to your source on gamerevolution, the decision is due for march (and they use a lot of conditionnal – could). So as of today, it’s still legal…

    On the “everywhere” point of view: what do you think of the last paragraph of the gamerevolution? “It remains to be seen whether this is another storm in a teacup – Germany is often the outlier, not the trailblazer when it comes to banning and restricting games […]”


  2. Once there is money in the market somebody will start bribing the politicians to regulate it for their own benefit. AKA lobbying.
    So far online casinos make more and easier money than games so they will be the ones setting the rules and banning the competition.


  3. As soon as someone passes an actual law AND it passes constitutional scrutiny, then I’ll be impressed. After all, all those “Penny bid” auction sites are still up, and those are straight up gambling too.

    If anything comes of this, it will be the softest softball.


  4. Well Gevlon, yes and no. First you need to understand german laws regarding minors. People under 18 cannot legally buy or sell anything. They need the permission or consent of their parents/legal guardians.
    Most of these lootbox systems encourage in-game purchases, which as such is no problem if all of this would take place in Germany under German laws, where parents can go to the seller/buyer and tell them to give the money back as they were dealing with a minor (who is protected under law). As few to no parents can walk up to Mr. EfuckingA and tell him to give the monex back as mr. EfuckingA is protected by imperialUSAmerican legal system, the solution comes as easy as it has ever been. Make such game legally inaccessible to minors, which is sort of an X-rating in Germany. Such games cannot be sold or even advertised to minors. The law for the protection of minors in public punishes heavily barkeepers who serve alcohol or spirits to minors, club owners that let minors stay unsupervised after “curfew hours” and so on.
    Lawmakers will probably follow that route and implement huge fines for letting minors deal with RLvalue items, thus publishers can get their due dose of surprise b.tts.x.

    Again just the access will be made illegal, just the transactions without proof of age will be fined, but in no way will they outlaw this.
    The solution is simple: din’t buy or play games with a lootbox system.


  5. In addition to what Smite wrote… it’s not cited in the English news as far as I can see, but the German article says that the commission is considering applying *existing* regulations. There are German laws which don’t list every item covered (e.g. There is a law that makes some drugs require prescription. But not the law, but a commission makes a list which drugs fall under that law). Here, another commission is considering that lootboxes might fall under the already existing ban on buying appeals to children and adolescents.


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