Again, the known loot boxes (loot box) in the spotlight for its resemblance to gambling, this time supported by a new study. According to a report presented by the Universities of Plymouth and Walverhampton, and which they have discovered, the loot boxes “are structurally and psychologically similar to gambling and betting“.
Already from the BBC they echo this new research commissioned by GambleAware organization with some relevant results. In the study they found that many games use a “psychological push” that encourages with fear to buy these boxes, because they have limited-time items or other offers.
“Many players ascribe economic value to the content, based on purchases or price, which suggests that these boxes meet certain criteria of regulation for bets“, write the authors. The 5% of those who generate half of the total income – sometimes called whales – spend more than $ 100 a month on them; this can be a problem because they are not people with economic well-being, but with a problem with gambling. These relevant data are:
- Of the 93% of children playing, up to 40% have opened loot boxes. About 5% of the players generate half of the total winnings from the boxes.
- 12/13 studies on the subject establish connections “unequivocal“with gambling. Young men tend to use them more, with younger age and lower educational level related to higher use.
“Our research therefore shows that developers, unconsciously or not, appear to be generating massive profits from these boxes through at-risk individuals. This factor includes people with gambling or gambling problems, but not stable players.“They conclude. These individuals at risk contribute to the fact that earnings do not fall and rise more and more so that gambling problems increase.
Regarding possible solutions, the report recommends these boxes be included when tagging games and in the age classification. In addition to showing the risks they have, the limits when it comes to spending, the specific items clearly displayed and more.
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As for the boxes, it is not and will not be the last time that they are put in the spotlight, with some examples such as consumption proposes regulating the loot boxes in video games with licenses and taxes, the buyers of loot boxes have a greater relationship with betting and gambling, according to a study or loot boxes will change to move away from the legal margins of the game, according to a study.