Dutch government moves to ban loot boxes for children

By Sean Lawson,

The Dutch government is looking to ban loot boxes from video games in hopes of protecting children. PlayStation titles that feature these microtransaction mechanics will need to make changes if the ban happens.

In what could be a domino effect that is felt around the world, the Dutch government is looking to ban loot boxes from video games in the Netherlands. This could be the start of the end for games that incorporate these mechanics in the hopes of earning a few more pennies off of players.

Microtransations and loot crates may become a relic of the past

Art & ScreensLoot boxes could be left in the dirt

Posted on ResetEra, users spotted that the Dutch government was moving to ban loot boxes from video games, the proposal discusses how children who play these games might be easily swayed into purchases they don't realise they are even making.

Also stated in the document — that users on ResetEra have graciously translated for all of us — is the fact that these loot boxes are also a form of gambling. The addictive side of loot boxes is discussed in the document along with how these unexpected payments can cause problems for those involved — like parents trying to get their money back etc.

fifa 22Games like FIFA, The Division, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel may be removed

There are a number of games that might be impacted if this loot box ban comes to fruition. Games like FIFA 22, Tom Clancy's The Division 2, Genshin Impact, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel all feature loot boxes that might need to be re-evaluated and possibly completely removed. This is only a fraction of the games that will be affected as there are a plethora of other games that implement these pay-to-win mechanics.

Also posted into the ResetEra thread by the original poster was an article from Gamer.nl, where Henri Bontenbal, the primary submitter of this proposal, elaborated on what he wants from the ban primarily.

Bontenbal explains that the ban is to protect children: "It's about children under social pressure buying things, with there being a business model behind that with developers building all sorts of tricks to stimulate that. That needs to stop. I want it banned for children, other ages I'm leaving up to the minister."

FIFA 22Bontenbal isn't opposed to unpaid loot boxes

It would seem Botenbal's priority and focus is to protect children who are easily susceptible to these microtransactions. From what Botenbal has said in the interview, the decision on if loot boxes will be banned for everyone who isn't a child will be left to the minister to decide. Also in the article Bontenbal talks about how it is just paid loot boxes he wishes to see banned, he has no issues with loot boxes that are free and require no purchase.

Loot boxes tend to raise a fair few concerns for people. A few years ago The UK Government wanted your opinions on loot boxes, to help determine if people felt it was a form of gambling. The public voice can count as we have seen in the past with the likes of player feedback leading to changes for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 loot boxes. Genshin Impact has also garnered a fair amount of criticism, especially with the Genshin Impact Wish simulator.

What do you guys make of all this? Want to see an end to loot boxes once and for all? I, for one, would not be unhappy to see the end of this somewhat predatory business model that a lot of companies have implemented in recent years, it is definitely addictive and you can blow a lot of money before you even realise it. Let me know in the comments all your thoughts and feelings!
Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact

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Sean Lawson
Written by Sean Lawson
Sean is a Staff Writer with a focus on the geekiest Sony news. He writes stories about unobtainable PlayStation trophies, the best PS Plus games, as well as RPGs and Fighting games. He is also excited for Tekken 8, Dragon Age Dreadwolf, Baldur's Gate 3, and Dragon's Dogma 2 to launch on PS5. Sean’s favourite games include Mass Effect, Tomb Raider, Tekken, and Persona.
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