Senator to introduce bill banning loot boxes in video games

Senator to introduce bill banning loot boxes in video games

USA senator Josh Hawley has confirmed a bill to ban loot boxes and pay-to-win microtransactions in "games played by minors", potentially affecting titles like Fortnite and the like. In support of his bill, Hawley references the free-to-play match-three puzzle video game, Candy Crush.

"Social media and video games prey on user addiction, siphoning our kids' attention from the real world and extracting profits from fostering compulsive habits", Hawley said.

The new rules would focus on games aimed at minors as well as games "whose developers knowingly allow minor players to engage in microtransactions", according to the release. "And when kids play games designed for adults, they should be walled off from compulsive microtransactions".

Is it a ban on all microtransactions in games below a Mature rating? The introduction to the bill says the distinction would be based on "subject matter, visual content, and other indicators similar to those used to determine applicability of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act". There are certain instances in which parents feel that children are being taken advantage of, due to the addictive nature of some of these games and their in-game purchase options. The legislation he proposed would also prohibit children from gaining access to loot boxes in games marketed to adults. This bill targets games that are played by those under 18.

Will loot boxes in Apex and Overwatch be illegal?

US policymakers also have explored new regulation: States, including California and Washington, have considered their own legislation in recent years, though none of the proposals has become law.

The United States Federal Trade Commission is also in the process of investigating loot boxes, though the first leg of that inquiry, a public workshop, isn't set to occur until this coming August.

"We look forward to sharing with the senator the tools and information the industry already provides that keeps the control of in-game spending in parents' hands", Stanley Pierre-Louis, the group's acting president, said in a statement. I would imagine PC and console gaming will largely remain the same, with a few shakeups in the FPS and sports genres, though mobile is an entirely different story since the majority of high-profile release on the Play Store employ numerous abusive practices the proposed bill would regulate into nonexistence.

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