At this point, everyone has an opinion on loot boxes and whether they are good or bad for gamers and the industry as a whole. Efforts to force the issue and to suss out a legal stance on loot boxes have been mixed; but if Germany does decide to take action, it could have serious implications for the global industry.
While the ESRB and some other governmental bodies don’t consider loot boxes to be gambling, plenty of gamers and organizations disagree. New Zealand, the UK, some US state legislators and now Germany are all considering substantive action against loot box mechanics in gaming. And that’s just a handful of the developments concerning loot boxes in the gaming industry.
According to PC Gamer, the German Youth Protection Commission is also considering a ban on loot boxes because it might violate laws against promoting gambling to children and adolescents.
The Youth Protection Commission will render its decision on loot boxes in March, with chairman Wolfgang Kreißig stating that it’s “conceivable” that loot boxes violate existing regulation in place to protect children and adolescents.
It’s worth mentioning though that German censorship of games has always been a strange and over-the-top approach. Sometimes it can be justified and sometimes it’s just silly, but overall the German decision is likely to be another voice added to the chorus of anti-gambling crusaders.