Loot Boxes in video games has become a heated topic and there is still an ongoing debate between gamers whether it can be considered as gambling or not. even game, publisher, developers and other government legislative bodies have different opinions on loot boxes.
The latest statement on loot boxes comes from one of the biggest publishers in the industry Take-Two Interactive the parent company of Rockstar games who have released games like Red Dead Redemption, Bully and the biggest selling game of all time the Grand Theft Auto 5.
Gamerant is reporting that during the Credit Suisse 21st Annual Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference. Karl Slatoff the president of Take-Two Interactive said that the company does not view loot boxes in games as gambling.
“We don’t view that thing as gambling. Our view of it is the same as the ESA statement for the most part; so [potential legislation is] going to play its course.”
For people who are wondering what ESA is and what did they? ESA is U.S. association representing companies that publish games previously they were questioned about the controversy of loot boxes in gaming.
To they answered that loot boxes are in games to enhance players experience and so it can be classified as gambling. below it their full statement.
Loot boxes are a voluntary feature in certain video games that provide players with another way to obtain virtual items that can be used to enhance their in-game experiences. They are not gambling.
Depending on the game design, some loot boxes are earned and others can be purchased. In some games, they have elements that help a player progress through the video game. In others, they are optional features and are not required to progress or succeed in the game. In both cases, the gamer makes the decision.
One thing to note is that despite what Slatoff thinks about loot boxes he admits that whatever the government and other legislative bodies decide will determine the future of loot boxes in games.
Currently, Belgium, Hawaii and Victorian government bodies have acknowledged loot boxes as gambling and have decided to form new legislation to prevent publishers from using loot boxes in games which are available for minors.
But ESRB, Pegi, UKIE are some rating bodies who think that loot boxes are not gambling, recently UK government also concluded its investigation and said that it cannot be classified as gambling at least for now. Queensland gambling commission also did not view it as gambling.
And Take-Two response denying loot boxes as gambling could mean that they too will use microtransaction and loot boxes in future games. we may see it in Rockstar upcoming game Red Dead Redemption 2 possibly as cosmetic loot boxes similar to Overwatch, Dota 2 and CS: GO.
Red Dead Redemption 2 does not have a released date yet but it will be coming on Q2 Of 2018. so we will have to wait to get more information about the in-game content.