The legislative push back against microtransactions and loot boxes may soon be strengthened by a bill by US Senator Josh Hawley, which is titled The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act. The Act, which is yet to be introduced to the Senate, would look to ban all loot boxes and microtransactions played by those under 18, which includes games that have been designed for under 18s and games that may be geared towards adult audiences but still have an under 18 audience.
Should the bill become law it’ll affect a huge portion of the games industry including large titles like Fortnite, Candy Crush, FIFA, Madden, NBA 2K, and a whole ton of others. This isn’t the first time governments have implemented or looked to implement bans on loot boxes and microtransactions, with Belgium being the prime example. There companies like EA, Square Enix and 2K have turned off the option of buying loot boxes with real money to comply with Belgian law.
This isn’t the first time the US has looked at investigating loot boxes. Near the end of last year the Federal Trade Commission stated it would be investigating loot boxes. Australia also took the stance that loot boxes could be gambling but would need to be investigated on a case by case basis.