Young Swedish video game players may lose the thrill of purchasing loot boxes if their government prevails in its efforts to brand the video game feature as a form of gambling.
Earlier this week the Swedish Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi, made clear his intentions to reign in the growing practice of paying for loot boxes with in-game purchases, without knowing what’s actually in the box. He says that reclassifying it as a form of gambling is the only way that the government can get a handle on loot box mania.
In an interview with a Swedish radio station, as reported on by gambling news site CalvinAyre.com, Shekarabi described his efforts saying:
We are working to regain control of the gambling market as soon as possible, and to make sure that Swedish consumer protection laws apply to all actors which conduct gambling activities.
Shekarabi went on to suggest that changes to the laws surrounding loot boxes in Sweden could come as early as 2019.
The Minister pointed out that loot boxes create an, “an abusive and addictive cycle,” wherein players keep purchasing them in the hopes of getting something worthwhile for their efforts. When they pay for a loot box drop and don’t get what they want, they wind simply buying more loot boxes. It’s a feeling that should be very familiar to anyone whose ever gotten sucked into vortex of a common slot machine.
Loot boxes drops, and the in-game purchases that buy them, are under increased scrutiny across the globe and efforts to ban them or classify them as gambling are underway in Germany, Belgium and a number of US States.