Add another pair to the list of countries that are examining the legality of loot boxes in video games. According to a translation of an article from website Sverige Radio, Swedish Minister of Civil Affairs Ardalan Shekarabi may lead the charge to classify loot boxes as a lottery in 2019. The practices of games such as Star Wars: Battlefront II, FIFA Ultimate Team, and Middle-earth: Shadow of War, are all cited in various other articles announcing the minister’s intentions.

Meanwhile, over in Germany, a study by the University of Hamburg that states that the way loot boxes earn income is “a typical feature of gambling markets” has found its way into the halls of government. According to the German newspaper site Welt, and summarized by GamesIndustry.biz in English, Chairman of the Youth Protection Commission Wolfgang Krei├čig stated that it was “conceivable” that loot boxes are already illegal. A decision regarding their outright banning will apparently come in March.

Sweden and Germany join their European neighbors Belgium and the UK as countries that are taking a closer look at loot boxes, while efforts in America are already underway. If loot boxes do get banned, whether in Europe, the U.S., or elsewhere, we’ve got an idea of how that landscape would look, too, and what developers might have to do to their cash shops to compensate.

the author

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

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  1. Iwa on February 14, 2018

    The problem is, that this is not the only gambling thats going on.
    It’s everywhere.
    Look at all the rng going on in many games with upgrading gear for example.
    We all hate rng, but I also think we can’t just go and ban it. Sadly.
    But I still support every movement against rng. Cuz it destroys games and makes them unfair in many cases.
    #fuckRNG

  2. lul on February 8, 2018

    i love how you chose torbjorn and reinhardt as the images when mentioning germany and sweden!

  3. ninetenduh on February 7, 2018

    Since it’s Germany you can be sure that they ban them, everywhere, that again will lead to rubbish German versions of games, I am already forced to play an utterly inferior version of Wolfenstein. Tho i did not buy it, because hey, it’s rubbish.

    On the other hand, no company with Games that contain loot boxes is able to simply go “who Cares” when it comes to Germany, in terms of Wolfenstein, they simply obeyed Laws, old Laws that can be easily fought against. But when it’s about Revenue, then no company go blind on that matter, Germany is the 4th Biggest market, followed by UK as fifth, If Germany and UK ban Loot Boxes, then even an EA or Take 2 will feel that in their pockets.

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