ANTI-LOOT BOX BILL MAY DESTROY GAMING INDUSTRY
The gaming industry, especially those who are online, have often relied on loot boxes or pay-to-win strategies to help boost their financial success. For those who don’t know what these terms mean, think about it as buying an extra skin or power up. However, now add the fact that these things are random, and that you buying $5 for a box doesn’t necessarily mean you will get the item you wanted! You may have to spend $50 to finally get that skin of your favorite character! This transaction is leading Republican Josh Hawley to introduce a new Anti- Loot Box bill that will penalize any company that uses the system. This bill, though still being negotiated, will make it a fineable offense to any game that targets children or is played by children and uses loot boxes and/or play-to-win mechanics.
Recently Kotaku had the opportunity to interview Senator Hawley recently and ask him so questions pertaining to this new bill. Though not a gamer himself, Senator Hawley seems deeply invested into this as his own children play games. Though not of age to play the bigger ‘adult’ games, the idea that kids are being sucked into this addictive online gaming casino has him worried. Though he believes in a free market and letting people decide their own fate, he admits that children need the guidance to know whats right and wrong and that the free market aspect does not apply to them.
Though it sounds like this idea of a ban is a good idea to help the younger generation from being addicted and paying for these micro transactions, the gaming community heavily relies on Loot boxes and play-to-win to earn money. EA, Overwatch, and many mobile games rely heavily on these strategies to remain relevant and make a steady revenue. Many bills have been proposed to regulate these systems, but all have been struck down. The whole gaming community themselves is a big broad frontier not many politicians understand or know enough. Whether we like it or not, the online industry is becoming more and more complex and eventually we will have the government a part of it.