The UK Government has launched a call for evidence on the use of loot boxes in video games, asking the public to share their experiences.
The investigation comes from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), and was announced through the UK Government’s website. Back in June, the DCMS announced it would be calling for evidence over concerns that loot boxes are causing children to gamble, as it made an inquiry into immersive and addictive technologies.
According to today’s statement (September 23), it aims to “seek the experiences of players and their parents or guardians as well as rigorous, high quality data and research from video games companies, academia, civil society as well as any other organisations with an interest in this issue”.
The Government has said it aims to gain “a clearer understanding of the size of the loot box and in-game purchases market in the UK, how it operates, and the impact of current protections such as parental controls and consumer regulations” through the investigations.
From the results, the Government has said it “stands ready to take action” and will decide whether the feedback warrants involvement or to adapt a new approach. Loot boxes are said to be considered alongside a review of the Gambling Act.
Anyone who wishes to deliver evidence can do so here. The consultation period is set to end at 23:59BST on 22 November.
Caroline Dinenage, the Minister for Digital and Culture, spoke in a press release about the effect loot boxes have had on children and the concerns raised by parents.
“Our valued video game industry is making good progress developing safer environments for our children to play in,” Dinenage stated. “Such as parental controls that can be set to schedule and limit playtime.
“But we’ve listened to parents’ concerns about loot boxes and it’s right that we fully examine and understand any evidence of the harm or links to problem gambling they can cause, so we can decide if action is needed.”
Sony has also recently come under fire from fans after revealing that the price for first-party games on the PS5 would be increasing when they release.