XI
you are not logged in
News

Belgium Moves Towards Criminal Prosecutions Against Valve, EA, And Activision, For Loot Boxes

The Belgian Gaming Commission has suggested that EA, Activision Blizzard, and Valve should face criminal charges for including loot boxes in games, which they have classified as a form of gambling. They say they will allow Belgian Minister of Justice, Koen Geens, some time to meet with representatives of the companies but they won’t wait forever.

“We are going to take all preparatory measures for the drafting of police reports, but it’s not going to be tomorrow,” BGC director Peter Naessens told GamesIndustry.Biz, “There is a certain amount of time for the minister of justice, but it’s not unlimited.”

The BGC’s definition of gambling is simple: If you are paying money for something and there is an element of chance deciding what that something is, then it’s gambling. That means loot boxes, where some items are common and some are rare, are gambling.

Many other countries have said that loot boxes are not gambling as the contents have no real value but that is not a factor to the BGC, they say they items in loot boxes have a perceived value depending on how rare they are in game.

They also say that players are “lured into betting money through loot boxes with a range of techniques”. One of those techniques is the “fusion of fiction and reality”, highlighting the fact that the most expensive loot boxes in FIFA 18 are advertised with a picture of Cristiano Ronaldo, suggesting that the more you pay the greater your chance is of picking up Ron.

The BGC have published a number of guidelines including showing the odds for loot boxes, and also rapped Disney and other companies for not paying enough attention to how their I.P.s are used.

Source: GIBiz

4 Comments
  1. TSBonyman
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    What about random item drops, like in games like Bloodborne? You could get something you really need or something you already have a lot of.
    I don’t think this should apply to loot boxes that are provided free in-game, paid for loot boxes would be a different matter though. But at the same time there has also definitely been a move on some publishers behalf to provide free in-game loot boxes in order to condition players to the concept so that they might subsequently be more inclined to purchase premium loot boxes.
    I’m surprised BGC are taking it this far tbh, i expected a slap on the wrist, don’t do it again and here are the guidelines you will have to work within going forwards – but i wasn’t expecting criminal prosecutions! :O

    Comment posted on 10/05/2018 at 19:30.
    • Tuffcub
      On the naughty step.
      Since: Dec 2008

      It’s not for free items, it’s only for things you pay cash for.

      Comment posted on 10/05/2018 at 21:20.
      • TSBonyman
        Member
        Since: Dec 2009

        That makes sense, i was thrown off by the bit about “as the contents have no real value” and thought it was including the free ones too.

        Comment posted on 11/05/2018 at 10:24.
  2. ron_mcphatty
    Member
    Since: Sep 2008

    You’re definitely more likely to pick me up if you pay more, I’m a gold digga!
    I’ve got mixed feelings about this, while I agree with Belgium’s gambling definition and their taking our issues seriously, I wonder whether this is all getting a bit too Daily Mail outrage-ey. I agree TSB, seems like a slap on the wrist type of situation, unless the big publishers have pissed the Belgian government off so much that they can feel a rampage coming on? Gouranga!

    Comment posted on 10/05/2018 at 19:47.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Latest Comments