Two more countries are tightening restrictions on lootboxes

Spain and the Netherlands are attempting to place tighter restrictions on lootboxes and gacha mechanics in games. 

Yesterday, a new motion (opens in new tab) was submitted to the House of Representatives to ban the use of lootboxes in the Netherlands due to them essentially being a form of gambling and manipulating children into purchasing microtransactions. Over in Spain, a new bill (opens in new tab) was also recently put forward that proposes tighter restrictions on lootboxes and gacha, rather than outwardly banning them, for similar reasons. 

As pointed out in this Resetera thread (opens in new tab), the new bill in Spain aims to bring in tighter restrictions on lootboxes and gacha by requiring players to provide official proof of age, implementing mandatory spending limits, and requiring developers to disclose percentage chances. Those who do not comply with the new bill can apparently be fined anywhere from €25 – €100. 

For the Netherlands, the government is proposing a much harsher rule that would ban the use of lootboxes completely within the country. This would obviously have clear ramifications for the likes of Genshin Impact or Overwatch, which both feature lootboxes and gacha mechanics. 

It seems like both of these moves aren’t necessarily a bad thing to gamers though. In the Resetera thread linked above – as well as this one (opens in new tab) which focuses on the Netherlands side of things – the majority of comments underneath suggest that most people are in favor of some kind of ban or more restrictions coming into place. Some people have even suggested that these rules should come into place across more countries, not just the ones named above but also outside of Europe too. 

Speaking of gacha, a couple of months ago many Ni No Kuni fans were left disappointed after the reveal of Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds which – instead of following in the steps of previous installments of the Studio Ghibli-style series – decided to become a gacha-focused free-to-play RPG. The main issue with the game was that instead of letting players use traditional currency for the said gacha, it instead featured a cryptocurrency system.

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