The loot boxes are one of the most controversial elements in video games in recent years, and has motivated a debate that has even reached the legislation of many countries, due to their ties to gambling. However, that won’t stop them from being so common.
A Juniper firm study (via VG247), entitled “Gambling and Loot Boxes: Legislation, Market Evolution and Predictions 2021-2025“estimates that Loot box revenue will be 25% higher in 2025 than in 2020. If an average of $ 15 billion was spent on loot boxes in 2020, this figure would reach $ 20 billion in five years.
Juniper estimates that more than 230 million users will make this kind of expense, the majority on mobile games. However, he expects loot box revenue to peak and they will begin to decline, due to people’s fed up with this type of business, and also the increased legal scrutiny they are receiving around the world.
In fact, Germany just passed a youth protection law that would force all games that had loot boxes to take a rating +18. Several studies maintain that these virtual expenses promote consumption in betting houses and games of chance, and therefore gambling in increasingly younger users.
For that reason, Juniper believes that video game companies change their business model to move away from the legal margins of gambling. If Germany finally manages to get games with such a harmless theme as FIFA or Overwatch to have a +18 on their cover, companies like EA are going to have a very difficult time maintaining their business models …