The recent Star Wars: Battlefront 2 microtransaction controverpocalypse has prompted an investigation by the Belgium Gaming Commission into the questionable ethics and legality of randomly generated loot box economies, which determined that “the mixing of money and addiction is gambling” and consequences will never be the same.
Most immediately, a gambling classification could limit sales of games using similar slot machine tactics to adults only, or even a total ban in Belgium, and maybe other countries in Europe too.
“Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child,” explains Belgium’s Minister of Justice Koen Geens.
The (tedious, but inevitable, I guess) invocation of the otherwise morally incontrovertible WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN argument is perhaps not entirely applicable, considering that, you know, grown ups play games too, but I doubt that’s going to matter much because the decision is exactly what everybody wants. I mean, besides budget executives, obviously.
EA has already responded to the ongoing drama by dropping Star Wars: Battlefront 2’s microtransactions, but it’s a temporary suspension and who even knows how they’ll rebuild that Death Star when – wait for it, wait for it, wait for it – the empire strikes back. No? Okay.