A new survey commissioned by Greenstone Research has found that over a third of British MPs (Members of Parliament) want greater UK game regulation. Almost two-thirds of MPs also showed concern about loot boxes.
What did the Greenstone Research survey find about UK game regulation?
The survey is titled "Ahead of the Game", and if you're interested, you can purchase the full version over on the official website. Greenstone polled UK MPs between November and December this year to find out what their attitudes were towards the gaming industry. 39% of MPs polled said they would like greater UK game regulation over the industry, while 44% said the regulation was at the right level. Only 2% said less regulation was needed, with 15% of polled MPs saying they didn't know.
Greenstone also commissioned research into MPs' attitudes towards loot boxes. Their findings showed that 62% of MPs - almost two-thirds - are either "moderately or extremely concerned" about the prevalence and effect of loot boxes in gaming. 70% of MPs polled are "concerned" about young gamers' safety in online video games. It's hard to imagine how that kind of scrutiny won't lead to a push for increased UK game regulation on things like loot boxes, which could be a major blow for publishers hoping to rake in money from the practice.
What is the backdrop to Greenstone's study?
It comes amidst increasingly negative authority and government attitudes towards the existence of loot boxes in gaming. Earlier this year, a report suggested the UK government could reclassify loot boxes as gambling. This would likely change the age rating of many games that featured loot boxes, thus harming the publishers' bottom line. At time of writing, that change hasn't happened yet, but back in July, the House of Lords called for "immediate" gambling regulation, so the appetite among politicians and parliamentarians for this change is still fierce.
Elsewhere around the world, similar changes are happening. In the Netherlands, the District Court of The Hague recently penalized EA for including loot boxes in its FIFA franchise. In Canada, a lawsuit is being brought against EA over loot boxes in many franchises including FIFA, Madden, and even Plants vs. Zombies. The ongoing controversy around loot boxes continues. We'll bring you more on this as soon as we get it.
How do you feel about this survey? Let us know in the comments below!