Online gaming group against loot boxes proposed legislation

The trade association ESA said that the proposed legislation against loot boxes in the US is flawed.


A federal legislation that could potentially ban loot boxes from video games was introduced in the US earlier this month. Now, the trade association of the video game industry, ESA, publicly condemned the legislation, as it believes it is flawed.

ESA CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis said that the legislation is flawed and riddled with inaccuracies. The CEO explained that the bill does not reflect how video games work nor how to deliver innovative and compelling entertainment experiences to audiences.

“The impact of this bill would be far-reaching and ultimately prove harmful to the player experience, not to mention the more than 220k Americans employed by the video game industry. We encourage the bill’s co-sponsors to work with us to raise awareness about the tools and information in place that keep the control of video game play and in-game spending in parents’ hands rather than in the government’s,” said the CEO.

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This statement comes after a Missouri Senator introduced federal legislation that could potentially ban loot boxes from video games. Senator Josh Hawley said that the measure aims to protect children, the main consumers of these games.

The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act would prohibit video games from offering loot boxes or randomised assortments of digital weapons, clothing, etc, that can be purchased for a fee. According to a Juniper Research report, the industry could be worth more than US$50 billion, but several countries in Europe have already banned loot boxes or are studying them to come up with a decision.

The bill features games that are explicitly targeted to players under age 18. The federal act also discusses the ban of “pay to win” schemes, where players spend money to access additional content that would give them digital advantages over rival players.