A law reform in Germany could make games with exclusive loot box sales for people over 18 years old. In order to protect children involved in this type of game, the formal request sent to the German parliament reinforces that this type of mechanics in video games is predatory and needs a more consistent age rating.
The text will be analyzed by the country’s legislative body, and may start to take effect later this year. Thus, if approved, games that include mechanics involving payment for lucky items must adapt to the indicative classification or accept the new age mark.
As the practice of loot boxes has become common in online games, even competitive, the discussion on how to deal with the purchase of items with luck has become a recurring issue. EA Games, owner of famous titles involving sports, action and racing, is among the companies accused of abusive practices of selling digital items.
In 2017, the launch of Star Wars: Battlefront II was marked by the abusive use of this type of business. The game even made it into the record books by posting on Reddit with the most negative votes, 683,000 dislikes. Currently, EA has the highlight of FIFA, which also has a purchase system involving loot boxes. The soccer game is suitable for people over 3 years of age and can be strongly affected by campaigns against systems of sorts involving money in games.
As early as 2018, the BBC wrote about children’s addiction to games because of this random reward schedule. According to the article, the number of children addicted to games has quadrupled in just two years.