US senator introduces bill to ban lootboxes and P2W microtransactions
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Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) today announced a bill that would ban loot boxes and pay-to-win microtransactions in “games played by minors,” a broad label that the senator says will include both games designed for kids under 18 and games “whose developers knowingly allow minor players to engage in microtransactions.”
Hawley will introduce the bill, “The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act,” to the U.S. Senate soon. In press materials announcing the bill, Hawley’s team brought up the Activision game Candy Crush as an egregious example of pay-to-win microtransactions thanks to its $150 “Luscious Bundle” that comes with a whole bunch of goodies. This bill will also likely apply to a host of online games that feature loot boxes and other ways in which players can spend money for real benefits.
I would like to congratulate the video game industry for being greedy enough to force a government intervention
I'm ringing my hands with glee over here.
cue the EA and ActiBlizz lobbyists
I hope this sticks. I really do.
Thank god that there is at least one senator who recognizes the danger of microtransactions in conditioning kids to be excessive consumers and gamblers.
Game developers who knowingly exploit children should face legal consequences.
Phew, Star Citizen is safe, they only target adult whales.
holy shit /s all over this, let's not even START the argument about SC being P2W, please please don't, just let me have this joke at my own expense
I don't even wanna' go to the 'think of the children'- thing.
My distaste for microtransactions and lootboxes is entirely selfish. The whole 'games as service' crap, with the recurrent, infinite monetization schemes is fucking up games and franchises that could have been interesting to me. I want that shit gone.
The Entertainment Software Association, the video game industry lobbyist group, sent over a statement shortly after this bill was introduced: “Numerous countries, including Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, determined that loot boxes do not constitute gambling. We look forward to sharing with the senator the tools and information the industry already provides that keeps the control of in-game spending in parents’ hands. Parents already have the ability to limit or prohibit in-game purchases with easy to use parental controls.”
18+ is an automatic AO rating from ESRB and no store ever stocks them due to the perceived backlash.
I dont see how they intend to really enforce this since any minor could give a bogus birthdate and either get a prepaid card or use a parents card. The publishers will shrug their shoulders as hard as possible to claim that people are just going around their systems because if how easy it is without full on checking their ID
Kinda shocked that it's a Republican doing this tbh.
Kudos to this guy, I just hope he isn't a scum bag in other areas.
I really like that reply from EA because its just sneakily hiding that all those countries don't consider them as gambling purely by the current definition in gambling laws.
Laws that have not been updated to the modern microtransactions that include loot boxes.
Pretty sure some of those listed countries think about changing that and we all know of Netherlands who already went into action but of course that wouldn't pop up in that reply.
Lootboxes are a lot easier to justify restricting than P2W microtransactions. Should have kept it to that as a start.
Funny how Kotaku shows BF2, even though they haven't had any P2W stuff since December 2017.
I guess it's just the most controversial example.
The Democrats are still figuring out how email servers work, but then they'll get to the loot boxes.
Wow can hardly believe this
You're talking about tech illiterate turtles and sentient lettuce. They largely have no idea what any of this means and it may as well be blurry text with "GAMBLING" stamped over it.
I don't like this. Government getting involved in games has seldom been a good thing
He wants to stop people from getting kids into gambling. It's not really about the games themselves.
If no one gets involved, then this issue just gets more prevalent.
Josh Hawley is a snake and likely a criminal from his time as Missouri's attorney general.
You're going to have a tough case convincing me there is another system that would put their foot down and stop these exploitative practices from happening.
wtf I'm republican now
Battlefront 2 and the huge backlash against it was still the catalyst that lead up to this. We wouldn't be reading about this bill if it wasn't for that.
Because the self-regulation in this particular area has been working soooooooooo well huh.
Oh wait, it's because there has been zero regulation that we've ended up in this fuckin mess.
The games industry needs a kick in the ass to get anything done. The only reason we even have the ESRB, for example, is because Mr. Government came knocking on the door saying "If you don't get your shit together we'll do it for you and you wouldn't want that now would ya?"
Good. I will not miss lootboxes or pay-to-win mtx in games.
I am only concerned at what will happen in response. The whole MTX/Lootbox mechanic brought a massive revenue stream with it, and I don't see publishers parting from that willingly. My fear is that they will look for a way to circumvent the legislation or will find a business model even more egregious to replace it.
There is also the question of *if* the measures will even pass, let alone how the legislation will be enforced and to what extent.
star citizen preys on the mentally ill so it's just as bad
/s too please dont ban me elix
Even though I don't see anything coming of this, It feels nice to know some asshole suits up in EA are getting real uncomfortable right now.
What poor sap would spend $150 on a mobile game.
Oh fuck oh fuck we are gonna be poor.
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