FTC to investigate in-game loot boxes

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will investigate the loot boxes embedded with video games.


Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire Senator, requested the investigation early this year. FTC chairman Joe Simons told Hassan in a Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing that he would be looking into the matter in an official capacity.

“Loot boxes are now endemic in the video game industry and are present in everything from casual smartphone games to the newest, high budget releases,” the senator stated. She added that her concern had grown due to the fact that loot crates are on track to becoming a $50 billion a year industry—possibly citing a report from Juniper Research released in April.

“It’s time for the FTC to investigate these mechanisms to ensure that children are being adequately protected, and to educate parents about potential addiction and other negative impacts of these games,” said Hassan, who also pointed out that there is similar legislation in place Japan and the Netherlands.