After a slew of negative press over the past few years, loot boxes are not very well liked at the moment. The Belgian Gaming Commission recommended prosecution for some game companies over the loot box controversy, and around the world different authorities condemned the in-game practice as harmful and damaging. Earlier this month we even reported that Open Critic would start to flag every game which contained loot box mechanics.It seems like the controversy will be getting pretty close to home this year as the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) will be holding a public workshop on loot boxes later this year.
The original information came from letters sent between the chairman of the FTC Joseph Simons to Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, in which Simons refuses to comment on any ongoing legal investigation that the FTC may be doing into loot boxes.
He went on to say that they plan to use a public workshop as a 'non-law enforcement option':
"We are currently planning a public workshop on loot boxes for later this year as one non-law enforcement option. A workshop could provide a forum for stakeholders representing wide-ranging perspectives, including consumer advocacy organizations, parent groups, and industry members."While it is not publicly available knowledge if the FTC is even running an investigation, the fact that they're planning this workshop at least shows that loot boxes are on the American government's radar. It's not the first time US has been involved with this, as Hawaii has looked at laws to limit loot boxes and the FTC began investigating them. So far there is no official date announced for the holding of the public workshop but Simon did at least confirm in the above quote that the workshop would be held at some point in 2019.
What do you think about the possibility of this workshop? Do you welcome the potential of government intervention to crack down on loot boxes? Join the conversation in the comments down below.