Video games producers seem to consistently be looking for new ways of increasing revenue with the introduction of so-called loot crates recently becoming a major news story with the release of “Star Wars: Battlefront 2”. The initial release of the latest entrant in the “Star Wars” gaming franchise was met with a mixture of shock and dismay by gamers who were informed the use of real-world money would be required to unlock all the characters available in the game using the randomly generated loot crates now common across many of the world’s most successful games.
Concern among some groups is growing about the use of loot-crates, particularly the use of randomly produced crates developing the purchase of new characters and skins into a form of gambling where the product received remains a mystery until the purchase is complete. The Guardian reports the use of randomly generated loot crates is being looked at by consumer groups concerned about this gray area of the law, particularly the use of these rewards offered to children; commentators have expressed their feelings about randomly generated loot-crates offering the same form of gambling high currently associated with Online slot machines restricted to the use of adults only.
The use of loot-crates is nothing new in the video gaming industry but the revelation of Electronic Arts latest “Star Wars” release costing in excess of $1,000 and more than 40 hours of gameplay to unlock a single top character has brought the subject to the attention of the public and legislators across the world. Consumer groups and government agencies in the U.S., U.K., and Australia have already begun to express their concern as the Belgian Government’s Gambling Commission began an investigation into the use of loot-crates as a potential violation of the nation’s regulations. Electronic Arts have backed down to player demands and lowered the cost of many of the characters in “Star Wars: Battlefront 2” as public pressure continues to grow against this practice.