FTC Planning To Investigate Loot Boxes With Public Workshop


The American Federal Trade Commission is reportedly planning to hold a public workshop on loot boxes, according to a letter obtained by Variety.
Correspondence was made between FTC chairman Joseph Simons and democratic senator for New Hampshire Maggie Hassan about the growing problem of loot boxes in video games. Hassan has been a vocal advocate for investigating loot boxes, and recently used a congressional oversight committee hearing to elicit a confirmation from Simons that loot boxes would be investigated.

In this week’s letter, Simons empathizes with senator Hassan about the issue but is tight-lipped about any future litigation or legal ramifications for the practice.

However, in the letter, Simons offers up an alternative means to “address concerns raised,” noting that the FTC is “planning a public workshop on loot boxes for later this year as one non-law enforcement option.” This workshop would create a forum for “stakeholders representing wide-ranging perspectives… parent groups and industry members.”

Speaking to Variety, Hassan notes that this is a “step in the right direction” towards ensuring that “meaningful improvements are made to increase transparency and consumer protections around loot boxes.”

It appears that legal investigations and government regulation concerning loot boxes and microtransactions are starting to become a hot ticket issue, what with EA’s Fifa Points being pushed out of Belgium amidst other bubbling microtransaction controversies over the past few years. 

Perhaps it will become an issue of note in the upcoming 2020 election? We’ll have to wait and see, but for now, these are positive steps towards protecting young, influential gamers from predatory microtransaction practices