Gamers launch a petition to regulate "loot boxes" in video games in the UK

Do you consider loot boxes as in-game gambling?

Gamers launch a petition to regulate

Gamers launch a petition to regulate "loot boxes" in video games

On the UK Government's official petitions platform a new request has been submitted for the UK to regulate the countries gambling laws to include the "loot box" systems in many of today's popular video games. 
So far this petition has gained over 5,500 signatures, which is unsurprising given how strongly many gamers feel about "loot box" systems in games, especially in soon to be released titles like Middle Earth: Shadow of War and Star Wars: Battlefront II. 

In the eyes of many, these loot systems are seen as harmful, especially given the fact that many of these games are targeted at children, with the FIFA series' Ultimate Team mode acting as a huge point of contention given the game's low age rating of 3+.
Below is the contents of the petition, which is titled "Adapt gambling laws to include gambling in video games which targets children". 

Many video game companies in recent years have introduced mechanics which are essentially gambling of which are targeted at children and vulnerable adults. While not currently considers gambling by law they do copy many traits to make them as addictive and can lead to real money being lost/earned.

Gambling in video games mostly involves 'loot boxes' where players use virtual currency (often bought with real money) to earn in game items often worth less than what they paid (sometimes more) hence its gambling. 
Currently only china has introduced new laws to force companies to display the odds of winning which had been standard in the uk gambling industry for years.


Gamers launch a petition to regulate

Regardless of how you view loot boxes, it is clear that most gamers would prefer a direct purchasing model for a lot of the in-game content that is available via loot boxes, like character skins in Overwatch or specific items in other games.    

While the idea of a loot box can seem very exciting, the implementation of the system is fairly exploitative, with some games splitting items into separate parts facilitating the need to purchase a larger number of "loot boxes" or failing to publish the drop rates of specific items in this loot boxes, making it easy for developers to adjust drop rates for items without users knowing. 

At this time it is unclear what the solution to the problems associated with in-game loot boxes will be, be it an increase in age rating for games that include them, placing restrictions on developers that are similar to other gambling tools or something else. 

The UK's Government will respond to petitions that get more than 10,000 signatures, with consideration for a Parliamentary debate coming after a petition reaches over 100,000 signatures. 

This petition is available to sign here, though please note that this petition should only be signed by British Citizens or UK residents. 


You can join the discussion on whether or not in-game loot boxes should be considered as a form of gambling on the OC3D Forums


«Prev 1 2 Next»

Most Recent Comments

09-10-2017, 13:57:31

Yes! I was thinking about setting up a petition for this.Quote

09-10-2017, 14:32:00

Signed. This really needs to be brought to heel and treated the way it should be for what it is.Quote

09-10-2017, 15:03:14

Happily signed. Really grinds my gears about how a lot of games have become pay to win because of it. Plus I see no difference between lootboxes and a fruit machineQuote

09-10-2017, 15:21:06

People are this upset? Pretty sad tbh.
"Vulnerable adults" LMAO really? The people to dumb should be held accountable by the companies?
I get children, but then again in order for them to buy things they need their "vulnerable parents" to do so.

Lootboxes are fine so long as they can be bought for a fair price with in game currency and nobody gets an advantage whether it's bought with currency or real money using Shadow of War is a terrible example and clearly shows how over reactive gamers are when it's not even out yet.

in a F2P game that's out the window. They need money to keep games going. How else they going to make money? This should not apply to them.
Gamers sure are a... Let's say "passionate" group.Quote

09-10-2017, 15:39:24

Dark NighT
Over time we been getting less and less in our games, now we even have to open up multiple boxes to get a set of clothes,equipment and even PAINT COLORS, and its all based on rng that happily gives duplicates that are useless and its all because of dumb greed, i detest these practices and just looking objectively at what publishers are doing, it is just awful.

Personally i don't care if people gamble, their money is their money, not even for minors, they either get taught gambling is dumb or learn it the hard way, but, just the sheer greed on display here is the worst thing that's happening atm, games get sanctioned off and content gets cut to be sold in season passes and if you want to customize your character, a thing that been very common in games for a long time and never cost anything, is now rng bs with a paywall if you want it directly.

To bad i can't sign this, as i don't live in the uk.Quote

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.