Republican Senator Josh Howley has proposed a ban on loot boxes and pay-to-win microtransactions in titles for minors, claiming they are preying on user addiction and exploiting children.
The Chinese government has restricted the number of loot boxes players can open each day and the government of Belgium said they were in violation of its gambling laws, according to BBC.
Numerous countries including Australia, Denmark, Germany, and the UK had determined that loot boxes had nothing to do with gambling.
On the other side of the spectrum, there’s a chance loot boxes will be ruled illegal in the US in titles popular with minors.
Republican Senator Howley said of his proposed Protecting Children from Abusive Games Bill:
“When a game is designed for kids, game developers shouldn’t be allowed to monetize addiction.
And when kids play games designed for adults, they should be walled off from compulsive micro-transactions.
Game developers who knowingly exploit children should face legal consequences.”
As a prime example, Howley singled out King’s Candy Crush, where players can purchase a $149 bundle that comes with 1,000 units of its in-game currency.
The problem, however, does not only affect Candy Crush. The issue of loot boxes first came into light with Battlefront 2. Currently, a large portion of popular games, including Overwatch, PUBG, and Rocket League, all encourage microtransactions.
The bill first needs to pass the Senate and the House of Representatives, before potentially becoming a law, says Gamespot.
Protecting Children from Abusive Games Bill