Published: Fri, April 20, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Loot boxes with real-world value deemed unlawful in The Netherlands

Loot boxes with real-world value deemed unlawful in The Netherlands

Skins Create Unregulated Gambling Market The new research, Daily Fantasy Sports & In-game Gambling; Skins and Loot Boxes 2018-2022, found that skins gambling should be of great concern to regulators. Publishers found to be in violation of these regulations will be given eight weeks to adjust their microtransaction systems accordingly or face punishment in the form of fines or the prohibition of their game's sales.

Each game featured paid loot boxes containing items which could be traded, providing the trader economic value. "As a result, the games violate the rules of chance". According to Marja Appelman, director of the Gaming Authority, "They are designed as gambling games are designed, with the feeling that you have nearly won".

Presentation, rather than the loot itself, is the primary driver of addictiveness: Those on the high end of the scale "have integral elements that are similar to slot machines", the report said, including unlimited access, the ability to cash out virtual goods, particular visual and sound effects, and a "near miss" effect that encourages the feeling of having almost won something. But it also makes some very interesting comments on the addictiveness of loot boxes, which it said carry a "moderate to high addiction risk potential".

The report succinctly sums up the legality of loot boxes in its final section, stating, "Loot boxes contravene the law if the in-game goods from the loot boxes are transferable".

United Nations says more security needed at Douma site
The team was in Douma, site of a suspected gas attack that triggered US-led strikes, ahead of an OPCW visit. Syrian state media says government forces have started bombing an Islamic State-held zone in Damascus.

"Offering this type of game of chance to Dutch players without a license is prohibited", says the Dutch Gaming Authority. The study also adds that it found that some in-game loot boxes were akin to "small scale Bingo", while others were presented more like a slot machine, with specific visuals, sounds, the ability to "cash out" and a near miss effect to make players feel like they are close to winning.

The Dutch Gaming Authority is now asking the video game industry to modify its products before the mid-June deadline. Local site NOS specified that these four games were Federation Internationale de Football Association 18, Dota 2, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and Rocket League.

Microtransactions have completely reshaped the way that game developers conduct business, and with an estimated 24 billion euro generated in the last year-$4 billion Dollars for Blizzard alone in 2017-it's hard to blame them for being interested.

Paid loot boxes have come under heavy fire in recent months by many legislators in various countries.

Like this: