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Loot Boxes in Video Games Not Gambling Says ESRB

Home » Loot Boxes in Video Games Not Gambling Says ESRB

In the world of video games, loot boxes have recently become a very controversial subject. Many have even criticized games for including gambling in these boxes. This is also because the games can be played by people who are not old enough to legally gamble. However, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which is responsible for regulating gaming, determined that loot boxes aren’t gambling.

ESRB rules loot boxes in video games is not gambling

The ESRB ruled that video game loot boxes cannot be called gambling. This ruling will likely disappoint many gamers.

What are Loot Boxes?

These are in-game boxes that contain randomly generated items for the game. Players can win some very high-value items if luck is on their side. Many free-to-play games use these to make money, charging players small amounts of money to purchase a box. However, recently, full-priced games have started, including loot boxes. The biggest recent offenders are Middle Earth: Shadow of War and the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront 2. Both the games cost $60 or more to purchase.
These games enable players to increase their likelihood of obtaining superior items by investing money in purchasing loot boxes. Star Wars: Battlefront 2 could even give players a significant advantage in-game thanks to the system, leading some people to call the game pay-to-win.

Loot Boxes Are Not Real Gambling

While many have become very angry about these loot boxes in the game, going as far as calling it gambling, the ESRB disagrees. The ESRB recently came out and said they are not gambling, although there is an element of chance with the system. However, players are always going to receive some in-game content when they open a box, even if it is not what they want. The ESRB also compared the system to collectable card games. Here, players would buy a pack of cards, hoping to get the cards they wanted. Sometimes, they would get lucky; other times, they’d get bad cards or ones they already had.

Unfortunately for gamers who are against this system, Europe’s counterpart to the Entertainment Software Rating Board agreed with its findings and has ruled they are not gambling. We’ll have to wait and see what happens with this story going forward because there are plenty of gamers who are very unhappy with the way loot boxes are being used.