A new study conducted by researchers in the UK has found a “robustly confirmed” link between problem gambling and looting boxes in video games.
The report (via the BBC) was conducted by researchers at the University of Plymouth and the University of Wolverhampton and commissioned by the charity GamblingAware. It took existing data and examined elements such as gender, age of users and how much income is given by a small number of users.
Based on this survey, the study found that up to 40% of children who play games have opened loot boxes, although it is not mentioned whether this number includes earned loot boxes or just paid. It also said that about 5% of players generate half of the revenue from these looting funds, which means that a small number of players spend an exorbitant amount of money, and that younger, less educated men are most likely to use them.
Expenses can hit $ 1
A few years ago, Belgium declared that looting boxes were illegal, as they broke the law on gambling in the country. There have been similar efforts to classify them as gambling in other regions, including the United States.
In response, gaming publishers have generally pointed out that, unlike something like poker, you are guaranteed to get some prize from a loot box. However, pushback from players has still made them a little less common in AAA releases.
Star Wars Battlefront II, which was released a few years ago to great controversy over its loot box progression system, was changed to make it a difficult point before it was even launched, was without a doubt the last straw, and the game became massive overtook the next few months. Around the same time, similar controversies hit single-player Middle-earth: Shadow of War, which completely withdrew its real-money marketplace.