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Sweden is looking into classifying loot boxes as gambling in 2019

Tracygill

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,689
The Left
Ardalan Shekarabi: Loot boxes can be classified as a lottery already in 2019
Loot boxes, ie packages you can buy in games that contain random content, may be classified as a lottery in the future. According to the Minister of Civil Affairs, Ardalan Shekarabi, after reviewing the P3 News's review.
"We are working to regain control of the gaming market as soon as possible and ensure that Swedish consumer protection rules apply to all actors involved in gaming."
-Minister of Civil Affairs, Ardalan Shekarabi

There are young people who spend thousands of crowns on so-called loot boxes in games. Nevertheless, this is not covered by the lottery law - although many testify that they became addicted. Now, the minister opens for a change.

The government is working on a review of legislation in the Swedish gaming market. The goal is for a new legislation to come into force in January 2019.

http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=1646&artikel=6880674 (Swedish)
Sweclockers said:
Minister of Civil Affairs, Ardalan Shekarabi tells us that the phenomenon of loot boxes is being investigated by the government, and that it may be classified as a lottery in 2019.

The opportunity to buy so-called loot boxes in games has been around for a long time. With the launch of Shadow of War in 2017, a discussion was started as to whether these should be classified as a lottery or not. This culminated with Star Wars: Battlefront II, where Electronic Arts and DICE received hard criticism for the inclusion of random content packages.

https://www.sweclockers.com/nyhet/25204-lootlador-kan-klassas-som-lotteri-i-sverige(Swedish)
FZ.se said:
P3 News has reviewed Fifa series player packages that are used to build teams in Ultimate Team mode and Minister of Civil Affairs, Ardalan Shekarabi is critical. He now wants to launch an investigation that can make these systems illegal by 2019.https://www.fz.se/nyhet/275735-civilministern-vill-granska-lagstiftning-kring-lootlador

https://www.fz.se/nyhet/275735-civilministern-vill-granska-lagstiftning-kring-lootlador (Swedish)
Classify me as gambling in 2019 if old.
 

IAmAnAgnostic

Member
Nov 2, 2017
202
They should do so, since it is gambling. I hope these regulations come very quickly all over the world to put an end to this abusive practice.
 

Jawmuncher

Deconfirmed for Smash
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
14,334
Ibis Island
I'm curious how this will affect games. Even if it's allowed in one area what happens to another?
I know Nirolak was talking about the difference would probably be made with "boosters".
So in the case of overwatch you'd just buy stuff to get faster XP which in turn would mean more loot boxes.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,912
Toronto, ON
It is gambling, period, and should absolutely be regarded as such everywhere. Even if you support loot boxes for whatever reason, like continued support of an online game or whatever, it's impossible to deny that this is gambling in the most literal sense. You're spending money to take a chance that you'll get something, and you may or may not get that thing, no matter how much money you spend.
 

Demacabre

Member
Nov 20, 2017
2,058
Excellent. And the domino's begin to go down.

Looks like we can start referring to paid rng in video games as gambling now without the apologists derailing the conversation into a semantics argument.
 

Chocobo115

Member
Oct 27, 2017
952
Sweden
I'm curious how this will affect games. Even if it's allowed in one area what happens to another?
I know Nirolak was talking about the difference would probably be made with "boosters".
So in the case of overwatch you'd just buy stuff to get faster XP which in turn would mean more loot boxes.
I'd imagine that developers would just ignore adding the option to buy lootboxes in Sweden and enable them in the rest of the world. I don't think we (Sweden) have a big impact on games sales compared to other countries.
 
Oct 25, 2017
13,181
Sweden
good

and to think that many people would not even have considered the fifa packages had battlefront not brought attention to the issue

it feels so good to see how ea's greed is backfiring on them
 
OP
OP
Tracygill

Tracygill

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,689
The Left
I'd imagine that developers would just ignore adding the option to buy lootboxes in Sweden and enable them in the rest of the world. I don't think we (Sweden) have a big impact on games sales compared to other countries.
Sweden isn't the only country in the EU looking into loot boxes. You have the Belgian Gaming Commission from last year. A couple of days ago the German newspaper Welt reported that theGerman Youth Protection Commission is investigating loot boxes.

"The German Youth Protection Commission has stated it is now considering a ban on loot boxes, following a study conducted by the University of Hamburg."
-Gamesindustry.biz
 
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Demacabre

Member
Nov 20, 2017
2,058
Sweden isn't the only country in the EU looking into loot boxes. You have the Belgian Gaming Commission from last year. A couple of days ago the German newspaper Welt reported that theGerman Youth Protection Commission investigates loot boxes.
The other thing is if games have to do this with even more countries, it quickly breaks the progression system/reward system across the entire community.

It's a devil's bargain for publishers now which is music to my ears.
 
Oct 25, 2017
13,181
Sweden
I'd imagine that developers would just ignore adding the option to buy lootboxes in Sweden and enable them in the rest of the world. I don't think we (Sweden) have a big impact on games sales compared to other countries.
eh

if individual countries start taking measures against lootboxes, eventually the entire eu will look into regulating them so as to ensure regulatory convergence within the region

it may start with individual countries but it's paving the way to eu-wide regulations
 

Atolm

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,315
I hope the EU reaches a binding agreement for all members to follow at some point, otherwise releasing certain games in Europe will be a pain due to different regulations.
 

OléGunner

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,238
Amazing how EA poisoned the well of greed for all publishers lol
Lootboxes are gambling period, I look forward to regulation coming soon across the board in the coming years.
 

Deleted member 9971

User requested account closure
Banned
Oct 27, 2017
9,743
It is gambling, period, and should absolutely be regarded as such everywhere. Even if you support loot boxes for whatever reason, like continued support of an online game or whatever, it's impossible to deny that this is gambling in the most literal sense. You're spending money to take a chance that you'll get something, and you may or may not get that thing, no matter how much money you spend.
Exactly you nailed it.
 

Luchashaq

Banned
Nov 4, 2017
4,329
Good sick of these greedy fucks reaping all of the benefits of gambling with none of the risk and none of the responsibility.
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,767
It is gambling, period, and should absolutely be regarded as such everywhere. Even if you support loot boxes for whatever reason, like continued support of an online game or whatever, it's impossible to deny that this is gambling in the most literal sense. You're spending money to take a chance that you'll get something, and you may or may not get that thing, no matter how much money you spend.
I agree.

But you will get people who will give you the definition in it's 'current form', and pretend to be obtuse to the fact that living laws evolve and amend to the times. (Hence the headline we have here.)
 

Atolm

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,315
Hopefully the pain will just make them take it(loot boxes) out?
Yes, but the monetisation of games and the GaaS model are here to stay, I think. Lootboxes will be the main target of the new legislations, no doubt, but I think the effect will go further than that. Free 2 Play games and mobile gaming surely will feel the heat as well. And while I dislike most of those models there are some very fair and well made, like Path of Exile, that don't deserve the same treatment as more insidious schemes.
 

Innuendo84

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
523
Will they classify tcg, ccg, kinder surprise, panini football cards, lego minifigs as gambling?
 

Ossom

Member
Oct 31, 2017
690
Good. Wish the UK would but our politicians are spineless cretins.
Do you think that they the UK will do nothing even though there has been discussion and consideration on the matter by both MPs and the gambling commission? Granted this is not top priority, but I can't see them doing absolutely nothing at all on this given the air time that has been given to this in the press and in other countries governments.

https://www.pcgamer.com/petition-forces-the-uk-government-to-weigh-in-on-loot-boxes-and-gambling-laws/
"The government recognise the risks that come from increasing convergence between gambling and computer games. The Gambling Commission is keeping this matter under review and will continue to monitor developments in the market."

Have I missed an announcement where they said they are not following up on the matter?

On topic. Good for Sweden. Hope this starts more action being taken in other jurisdictions. It needs regulation and someone needs to start the ball rolling. A full ban may be a little too far for my preferences, but a lot more transparency needs to be put in place.
 

Demacabre

Member
Nov 20, 2017
2,058
Yes, but the monetisation of games and the GaaS model are here to stay, I think. Lootboxes will be the main target of the new legislations, no doubt, but I think the effect will go further than that.
I think the long term effects is that GaaS and the continual monetization practices of the game industry will be on both the public and government radar now. My hope past seeing elements as squarely gambling and the regulations of them, is that we get a real consumer watchdog/advocacy group that is independent of the game industry's purse strings.
 

AtomicShroom

Tools & Automation
Verified
Oct 28, 2017
1,573
Very good to see this shit practice getting all the flak it deserves!

However something tells that whatever legislation is put in place, the videogame "AAA" industry will find crafty ways to go around it and achieve essentially the same result.
 

Ramjag

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,301
Good on them. Glad that EA got too greedy for their own good and started this all. Hopefully, it’s banned in most places before their supposed golden goose (anthem) gets released.
 

Rover

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,647
I'd call it predatory, but I fail to see how it's gambling (which I consider to be a buy in-> cash out scenario). They need to take a look at the broader picture of (primarily F2P) game business models that hook people on spending money. A lootbox is just one toy in that box.
 

TatteredHat

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,253
I imagine developers will start to shy away from lootboxes long before this reaches actual legislation, these kinds of developments are probably enough to put them on a different track
 

mazi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
30,420
great. they should be classified as gambling everywhere, and hopefully fuck off entirely.