It has been a little over a year since the flood of Star Wars Battlefront 2 surprise boxes started, and since then, game regulators have begun to pay more attention to controversial micro-transactions. The latest government is a big problem, with the US Federal Trade Commission having announced plans to investigate loot lockers and their impact on children. Oh, and the Australian Senate also has something to say on the subject.
FTC President Joseph Simons yesterday confirmed a request from Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) asking the agency to investigate video game boxes (via Polygon). During the hearing, Hassan pointed out that "the object chests are now endemic in the video game industry and are present in all types of games, that it's acting." games for casual smartphones or new high budget versions "and will likely represent a $ 50 billion industry year-round. 2022 ".
Although Washington State was one of the signatories of the recent international declaration on the risks posed by letter boxes (as well as 15 European regulators), it seems that this is the first time that they will make the under investigation at the federal level in the United States. As an independent agency of the US government, the FTC is responsible for consumer protection. It promotes the promotion and promotion of business regulation laws. Judging by Hassan's remarks, it seems that the purpose of the survey is to better understand the risks posed by the boxes and to raise awareness.[ing] parents about potential dependence and other negative impacts. "The FTC will report its findings to Congress, and we will probably have to wait a bit before receiving an answer.
Earlier this year, Hassan also sent a letter to the ESRB (the agency responsible for evaluating the games in America) asking the organization to review its process. evaluation of loot boxes. Hassan has also been successful on this front, as the CERS has subsequently agreed to add warning labels to games containing loot boxes. The lady knows how to get things done.
On the other side of the world, the Australian Senate has finally completed its investigation of the boxes and recommended, as well as other research. Its report says it is too early to propose specific regulations, but believes that Australian government regulators should provide additional clarifications to cover any legal loophole. In particular, the Australian Government's Department of Communications and the Arts is expected to conduct a review in conjunction with a number of regulatory bodies.
Although nothing is yet solid in the United States and Australia, and the two countries are still far from declaring illegal booty boxes (as in Belgium and the Netherlands), the announcements reveal an increased interest from the government to regulation of loot boxes. With so many interested regulators, we are likely to hear about new developments in the coming months.