As the debate surrounding loot boxes as a form of gambling continues, a new bill proposed in Washington looks to force the game industry to regulate.
"If it were determined loot boxes are gambling, it'd be illegal for a child to purchase a game, even if they are 17." - ESRB shake-up or not, this could only be good. This may keep developers from abusing the mechanic or better yet make them drop it completely. Besides, the ESRB needs an update because the industry has changed a lot in thirteen years.
damn right its gambling . if you buy anything on this earth thats in a box (virtual or not) that you cannot see that has a monitary value then you are gambling,look at the kids with fifa points !!!!!! its gambling and nothing less
Loot boxes have to be purchased to make it gambling, and therefore require a credit card if digital which requires you to be older than 18. Why are senators wasting time doing this here in WA when they can’t even find public education? Regulations like this are deemed popular, but people have no clue about the after effects it creates for gamers that are drastically more negative.
The problem is you can buy them using debit cards with these days anyone can get there hands in them.Even gift cards.I gave my son a gift card for his Bday to shop online and he is a minor. There has to be more rules to this howl loot box thing.
@Ps That is true. I doubt this bill will pass since WA state never gets anything done. If it was passed it could make every game 18+ which could end up being terrible for gamers, or the publishers would take it out. The issue here is that when you make a law it has many unintended consequences, and that means it could hurt the gaming industry in the long run. This includes lower wages, and less jobs for game development positions.
In some states, gambling is illegal until 21..
I like how you have 0 disagrees. Extremely uncommon on N4G, but not on this issue. Oops I hope I didn't jinx it.
The ESRB was created in part to keep government out of video games. They wanted to self-regulate.
The ESRB keep defending loot boxes and micro transactions. So they need to change their ratings system or government will do it for them. Their choices.
Please spread this
This is good news for sure. Unfortunately rampant, boundless greed by publishers has caused this. The ESRB should be held accountable here as well as they should have seen this issue already and created a rating to accomodate this. With a huge stamp of CONTAINS GAMBLING with MONEY. And the rating should be AO for games containing microtransactions like SWBFII. That will limit the places it could be sold which will limit the ravenue of this type of game which in turn stop MT's in it's tracks. But again, MT's of all kinds need to be removed as cosmetics only MTs can and have been prooven to destroy games.
The bigger problem is that we ATE their bullshit.
But do we have a choice ? When major gaming publishers push too far with their BS practice to consumers. We only left one choice.
Now it's time to eat your government's bullshit. Hopefully they will stop at loot box's, because once the government starts regulating video gaming, who knows where it will end. Just ask Australian gamers.
Then we keep fighting.
Oh look the governments getting involved this will fix everything. I'll remind you this is the same government thats shut down because they cant agree on anything, its also the same government that if supposedly is so concerned for the children hasn't passed one meaningful law to protect children getting bullied in schools.
lol, you think they're going to be thinking about children when they address this bill? They're gonna be thinking of all the money they can make from the publishers via the new regulation.
Gambling is already regulated. This is nothing new. The goal isn't to make money but to force developers to comply with the law.
No I never thought they be thinking of the children at all, that's the excuse, I'm sure you're right.
Is doesn't matter about the law, it's more about "Can we tax them for this?". Yes, yes they can. I think it's good if they start looking into how much they make on this crap and start digging into their pockets just like they've done to ours. These publishers have long arms and they'll reach down to the lint at the bottom of our wallet, it'll do them some good to have someone doing it back at them.
This is a Washington State senator proposing a bill in his state, it has nothing to do with the federal govt or a shut down. Off road king: it still has nothing to do with your reference to the shut down or the federal govt. Also state govt is not local govt... You need to take a civics class again
Local government is still government.
This is the Washington State Senate an all together different kind of dysfunction. But you should probably pull away from the news, they tell a ridiculously narrow story. Our government functions highly in many areas and still is a fair representation of the public. The problems in politics (mostly separate from the actual functions of government) are problems among the people and until we look at our issues honestly we'll keep having these hang ups. Children getting bullied need to buck up. "Bully's get bricks" as my godmother would put it. Kids need struggle, its the only way they can see how much they can really take. And frankly parents need to instill some grit in their kids, let them know they are worth defending. I got served a few times before I figured out that I could take whatever they give and serve it right back.
"Our government functions highly in many areas and still is a fair representation of the public." "Children getting bullied need to buck up." Wow, I just cant. smh
Oh does reality not match your story? Stick your head in the sand some more. Until convinced otherwise I content that personal accountability is our biggest problem as a society. It's hard for any criticism of a system to land when the people within the system are not held to account. The problem is not the system, it's the people within it. We've grown disinterested and self destructive, hence, our national political climate. And explain to me how to breed strength in humans without struggle. I'll wait.
"Story"? Children being bullied is a story to you? what a shame. Just FYI the system is in place to represent the people and its a terrible system and it its priorities are mixed up. You clearly have some strong opinions on the matter, I disagree with them entirely, but I'm not here to argue with you, so you'll just have to keep waiting. Good day.
"The government that governs best is the government that governs least." There are some matters that need national attention but most of them should be solved as locally as possible. This isn't one of those situations but most issues should be handled as close to home as is feasible. Governments are too large, too intrusive, too megalomaniacal, too greedy as it is. Quite often, lawmakers and people equate movement with action. Often there is already a law on the books to handle matters. It simply requires enforcing. Then again, that doesn't generate the appearance of governing which to a scab only concerned about re-election, matters far more than actually doing something.
They can do more than two or three things at once, can’t they? Its not like they ignored all those problems and just concentrate all of their efforts on lootboxes.
This bill will not pass for obvious reason
AO games are already banned! This won't do anything to fix the issue! This will just make another banned rating!
Terrible idea. Government inserting itself in business never ends well. Let the market regulate itself. It's already happening. No need to stupid regulations.
It’s washington state, a leftist commune lol. They insert themselves in business all day every day.
The market regulating itself = loot boxes, microtransactions, GAAS.
So you’re mad that the market you hate is bigger than yours and catered to, so you support anti-consumer government regulation to “force” it out and kill it at the root? It doesn’t matter that you have no significant case against gambling violations or anti-consumer practices, it just “feels wrong” (and I agree). Honestly, it is you that is anti-consumer and I don’t mean to offend. You despise the market and lean towards socialist economics, I assume. You feel the market isn’t smart enough to buy what it wants, we need to buy what you want because you are a genius. You support rule through regulation, not justice through blind law. It’s not about “whales” or abuse that needs oversight. If half of the launch buyers spend 20 bucks on MTs that’s great business. Possibly the equivilant to another million at least in total sales. Yes, they will do tricks to get you to buy things, it’s called marketing and it’s not new. Don’t be a sucker. I’m not against Washington state doing this by the way, I’m all for the the 10th amendment and states rights. They can ruin their state however they want. I’m also for the mobility of American citizens and businesses to leave these crap states and live or operate anywhere they want. I hope they keep trending this path until studios like sucker punch leaves their state to be creative again and not taxed and penalized to death. Nothing is “forcing” us to do anything until you get in the federal. That’s why socialist economics can’t work in America without the totalitarian rule of a central authority. It’s 50 states and 350 million people. Not 10 million in one state. Bernie and Vermont could go full communist if they want, I don’t care. You can move to Vermont and share the glory. I’d back you up. If you agree with rolling stone then 99.99% of the time you should go back to the drawing board and reevaluate the situation. They are full of it.
Regulate = not selling games in Washington state = Washington state citizens being pissed. You can’t “force” anything, especially here. The overall ignorance surrounding this issue is a sight to behold.
But do we have other choices ? When major gaming publishers just keep pushing with their greedy hand and we consumers got screwed up by them. Then they got caught up by government. So there is two choices for major gaming publishers : They can back of with their BS or face the real consequences.
You have always had a choice. "We" didn't get screwed up by them. Those "greedy hands" didn't make you purchase a loot box did they? If you are that inept, you have a serious problem. Begging the Feds to rescue you because you cannot control yourself is a death sentence.
Yes you have other choices and other games/publishers to support. They didn’t “get caught up by the government”. It doesn’t break any gambling or consumer laws. That’s precisely why you have to make a new law to get your way lol. Throwing around buzzwords like greedy doesn’t justify your train of thought, you think like a despot. They “must think like UCforce or face the consequences”.
@Dirtnapstor i’m not begging for Fed to join our cause. But these major gaming publishers are abusing children. They will pushing that boundaries without self policy. Like I said, major gaming publishers need to back off with gambling and microtranaction or government will do it for them.
Hmm, sounds like someone actually cares about peoples concerns. Let me guess a democrat *googles* Yup. lol.
I sincerely hope it passes
I wouldn't call 1 out of 10 games potentially having loot boxes "fully committed".
I think getting the Feds involved was a bad move. Potentially, it could go downhill from here with nonsense regulations. Once they get their foot in the door, they'll want a bigger piece. That's the way it has always been. Are we going to let the Feds parent our kids because we cannot regulate our own children? Are we going to let the Feds parent us because of the overwhelming desire to buy "just one more" loot box? Sure EA bumfuzzled BF2 with the pay-to-win model, but did EA really have that tight of a grip on the gaming community that the government had to step in?! If the Developers and/or publishers can devise a MP system that is so in tune with who buys what and can deliberately place players at odds because of a purchased unfair advantage, then why couldn't they code it where if you have an advantageous edge, you get placed into servers appropriately fitting to your loot boxes collected? I get it, it's a money thing. But there will always be players that will spend ridiculously if they can. Split the servers.
Well the feds getting involved might actually force the gaming industry to self regulate because as you said, once the govt steps in, it's gonna go downhill from there for sure. So it might just be the "wake up" call the esa/esrb needs to address loot boxes.
Good, I'm a sucker for ftp games but only spend when I think devs deserve it. It sure does feel like casino gambling sometimes, predatory feels right and the kiddos shouldn't be suckered into that by fancy graphics
it all sounds good, but the result will be more expensive games or less games made. mark my words. revenue is down, costs are up. Think about that. If studios don't get the extra pick up they need to make their investors and shareholders happy, much less turn a profit and keep a staff employed, where do you think they are going to go next for the money? exactly. the base price of the game. If they don't feel they can make the projected money back, guess what? they aren't gonna make the game. Studios like Projekt Red are examples of smaller studios thats produce a small amount of titles over a long period so they don't have to resort as often to these tactics, but larger studios like EA, Ubisoft, Activision etc do need to. If studios were doing so well then why do my friends in the industry keep getting laid off?? They aren't all driving around in Porsches and Bentleys thats for sure. MTs, loot boxes and everything in between are symptom of a larger problem. EA clearly overstepped their bounds and crossed the point of value for your dollar and deserved to get what they got but they aren't the only ones trying to figure out ways to make their ROI much more purposeful. you can disagree with me all you like but it doesn't change the fact that it will be true. Just look at the costs of everything else thats regulated. Cigarettes (no i don't smoke), liquor, brokerage fees, gas (petrol to my friends over the pond).... MTs are merely stopgap to generate more revenue from the growing cost of game development. i'm not saying they are right (or wrong) but they are there because just selling you a game at $60 started not being enough. Games are more expensive to make than ever and new game prices have stayed relatively flat.
I generally don't like govt butting in but in this very specific case I agree with. This is more about protecting the industry than just protecting kids and idiots from themselves. There are many kids in gaming and if they get hooked on gambling it could have dire consequence for the whole industry.
N4G is a community of gamers posting and discussing the latest game news. It’s part of NewsBoiler, a network of social news sites covering today’s pop culture.