You know the phrase “the straw that broke the camel’s back”? Well, it’s meant to mean that the camel can bear a lot of weight, but then you’ll go one straw over the limit, and the camel breaks, and it can do no more. Video games have often flirted with that line in many ways. Crossing that line is what caused the video game crash of 1983, which almost resulted in video games dying out in the US (thanks Nintendo for preventing that!). And now, the last straw (another great phrase), seems to have been found with Loot Boxes.
Now, Loot Boxes have been around for some time, and in a way, they’ve become a part of the video game culture in recent years. They’re a way for players to get new items from a random “gift box”, which is ok. However, paying for these has always been a contention, especially for Loot Boxes that have a very low RNG (aka luck) for getting good items. Everything seemed to be going well for it, until Star Wars Battlefront II arrived, and fans went nuts over the abuse that Loot Boxes had in the game.
EA literally made it so you had to get Loot Boxes in order to stand a chance in competitive play, and that forced the publisher to shut it all down (the microtransactions.) But that wasn’t enough, the governments of the world saw this outcry and decided to respond by asking the question of “is this right?” Well, Hawaii of all places is one of the most proactive in this action to stop the sale of these in-game boxes. So much so that they’ve officially drafted a law to make sales of games with them…stop.
“I grew up playing games my whole life,” Representative Lee told the Hawaii Tribune this week. “I’ve watched firsthand the evolution of the industry from one that seeks to create new things to one that’s begun to exploit people, especially children, to maximize profit.”
The bill has been introduced, but it has to go through a process before being passed. If it does though? It could spell the beginning of the end of Loot Boxes all over the world.