IGDA asks gaming industry to sort out loot box issue before government intervention

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Jen MacLean, executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), has urged the leaders of the games industry to take action on loot boxes before governments come up with legislation against them.

She noted on her blog: “Earlier this week, the United States Federal Trade Commission agreed to investigate loot box monetisation and its potential impact on children. This announcement, which follows Belgium’s investigation and restrictions in the Netherlands on the use of loot boxes, should be a clear wakeup call to the game development industry that we must address how we use loot boxes, especially when they’re in games played by children.”

Maclean clearly stated what action she believes games developers and publishers should take regarding loot boxes: “We have a blueprint for taking action as a community, and industry, in how we established clear, easy-to-understand game ratings and content descriptions so that consumers, and especially parents, understand what’s in the games they or their children play. As an industry and community, we should take the following steps immediately: affirm an industry commitment to not market loot boxes to children; clearly disclose the odds of different rewards when purchasing loot boxes (as many games already do to comply with Chinese law); launch a coordinated education campaign that boosts awareness of the parental controls that are available to appropriately limit how players engage with games.”

Now that the US FTC has determined that it, too, will look into loot boxes, the chance of further legislation against them looks increasingly likely.