The UK government is expected to launch a call for evidence that will help it determine whether to reclassify video games with loot boxes as gambling products.
That's according to The Guardian, which reports the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will this week take the next step in its ongoing investigation into the impact of loot boxes, a monetisation mechanic that charges players for randomised items.
It is not quite clear what evidence the department requires, or when the deadline for this enquiry will be. GamesIndustry.biz has contacted DCMS for more information.
Concern about their use in video games spiked in 2017 -- particularly around the loot boxes originally planned for use in Star Wars Battlefront 2, which would have hindered progression for players who did not purchase these in-game items.
Since then, a DCMS committee has interviewed several representatives of the games industry about the use of this mechanic as part of an investigation into immersive and addictive technologies.
In September, the committee published its recommendations, including the assertion that paid loot boxes should be regulated under gambling law. The committee also called for a ban on the sale of games featuring loot boxes to children.
These recommendations were backed up by the UK Children's Commissioner, which also called for a ban on the sale of all non-cosmetic items, and the NHS's mental health director.
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