Fearing Government Intervention, IGDA Urges Games Industry to Self-Regulate Loot Boxes
The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has issued a global call to action, urging video game companies to self-regulate loot boxes or else “governments around the world will take that action for us.”
Executive Director Jen MacLean penned the note days after the United States’ Federal Trade Commission announced that it’ll be investigating loot boxes over child gambling concerns. The FTC’s move follows restrictions placed by Belgium and Netherlands, and ongoing investigations in a number of other countries.
MacLean said that the involvement of multiple governments should serve as a “clear wake-up call” for the industry to address the issue before it’s too late.
“By not taking significant action as an industry and global game developer community to self-regulate how loot boxes are used, we run the very real risk that governments around the world will take that action for us, and perhaps create significantly restrictive laws that could impact any random reward elements in games,” wrote MacLean. “I offer my strongest advice to game developers and interactive entertainment businesses on this matter: addressing how loot boxes are used is both the right thing, and the smart thing, for the global game development industry to do.”
The IGDA has proposed several immediate steps, which include: an industry commitment to not market loot boxes to children, disclosing the odds of loot box rewards (a requirement in China), and launching a campaign to educate parents on how they can monitor the way their children engage with video games.