Earlier today Hawaii’s State Representative Chris Lee held a press conference in response to the controversy surrounding loot boxes and microtransactions in video games. Lee announced that he would be looking to introduce legislation to combat predatory practices by companies like EA.
Singling out Star Wars: Battlefront II, Lee called it an “online casino specifically designed to lure kids into spending money.” He added that he wants to “protect kids who are underage, not psychologically or emotionally mature enough to be able to gamble which is why gambling is prohibited under 21.”
Lee’s press conference follows the news from Belgium that loot boxes are considered gambling in that country. Lee announced that his proposed legislation would attempt to prohibit games with loot box content to anyone under 21. He also stated that the legislation would attempt “prohibiting different kinds of mechanisms in those games.”
Another State Representative, Sean Quinlan joined Lee and claimed that Star Wars is one of the world’s most popular IPs and that the game is clearly marketed to children. “We shouldn’t allow Star Wars to encourage your kids to gamble,” he added.
The pressure on loot boxes in video games is continuing to mount with each passing day. After EA temporarily removed the ability to purchase crystals in Star Wars: Battlefront II, it was revealed that sales of the sequel were down 60% on the first title.
With the announcement of Belgium’s Gaming Commission calling loot boxes gambling and now the announcement from Hawaii, it looks like loot boxes might have had their day.