A recent report has revealed that the ever-controversial loot boxes are set to be regulated in Spain, making it the first European country to pass a law to do so.
The report comes from an article on the website Reuters, with Consumer Minister Alberto Garzon stating that in a few weeks the government will “regulate gaming features that offer prizes with an economic value in a real or virtual market and that can be resold or exchanged.” The government claims this is to avoid “thoughtless, compulsive or even pathological” consumer behaviour in regards to loot boxes.
These regulations will also include NFTs and cryptocurrency, which have also been strong points of contention both within games and elsewhere. While the regulations are unspecified at the time of publication, Garzon claimed that they would “allow gamers to have fun while preserving their health and, in particular, that of the most vulnerable”.
The article highlights a key statistic regarding Spanish students. On average, three out of ten spent “spent money in 2021 to improve their ranking, character, accessories or image in videogames after the initial purchase”, as reported by a survey of the National Plan On Drugs which also monitors online addiction.
Just last month, 18 European countries and 20 different consumer groups backed a Norwegian Consumer Council report that dubbed loot boxes “exploitative”. The report offered several potential actions that could be taken, with a potential ban being proposed if those solutions don’t alleviate the issue.
Meanwhile, countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium have already put strict policies in place regarding the implementation of loot boxes in games.
In other news, EA made a controversial Twitter post recently joking about single-player games: “They’re a 10 but they only like playing single-player games.” This unsurprisingly irked developers who have been involved in single-player titles published by EA, and it also led to ridicule from fans.