IGDA calls on games industry to pre-empt government loot box action

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Jen MacLean, executive director of the IGDA, has called on the games industry to take action on loot boxes before governments step in with legislation against them.

On her blog, the head of the International Game Developers Association said: “Earlier this week, the United States Federal Trade Commission agreed to investigate loot box monetization and its potential impact on children.  This announcement, which follows Belgium’s investigation and restrictions in the Netherlands on the use of loot boxes, should be a clear wakeup call to the game development industry that we must address how we use loot boxes, especially when they’re in games played by children.”

Maclean clearly stated what action she believes games developers and publishers should take regarding loot boxes: “We have a blueprint for taking action as a community, and industry, in how we established clear, easy-to-understand game ratings and content descriptions so that consumers, and especially parents, understand what’s in the games they or their children play.  As an industry and community, we should take the following steps immediately: affirm an industry commitment to not market loot boxes to children; clearly disclose the odds of different rewards when purchasing loot boxes (as many games already do to comply with Chinese law); launch a coordinated education campaign that boosts awareness of the parental controls that are available to appropriately limit how players engage with games.”

As we reported, the Dutch and Belgian governments have recently come out against loot boxes, suggesting that the EU may follow suit by scrutinising loot boxes.

Now that the US FTC has determined that it, too, will look into loot boxes, the chance of further legislation against them looks increasingly likely. For further IGDA news, keep an eye on the industry body’s website.

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Steve Boxer
Steve Boxer has been writing about videogames since the early 1990s. His first console was an Atari VCS, and he misspent most of his youth in the 1980s in the arcades. As well as for Green Man Gaming, he can be found writing for The Guardian, Empire, TechRadar and Pocket-Lint. He’s currently having trouble deciding whether his favourite console is his Xbox One X or his Switch, and plays a wide range of games, but especially RPGs (he loves a good JRPG) action-adventure titles, shooters of all descriptions and driving games. Follow him here.