Four new bills could force publishers to disclose their practices.
Lawmakers in Hawaii have proposed a series of bills that target the sale of loot boxes in video games.
The Hawaii Tribune Herald reports the legislation aims to address potentially exploitative monetization like loot boxes which can lead to players harboring gambling addictions.
Two of the bills, if passed, will stop sales of games in which players under the age of 21 can use real money to buy randomized rewards. How exactly this could be regulated is not clear.
Another set of bills would see games with purchasable loot boxes or other random rewards feature labels to disclose as such as well as display the probability rates for prizes.
Long time gamer and State Representative Chris Lee, who revealed last year that he and others were looking into such legislation, now says “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.”
“It’s a $30 billion industry,” Lee said. “It’s bigger than Hollywood. It’s an industry that can reach into everyone’s pockets and phones and consoles and PCs, but there’s no authority to force them to disclose their practices.”
Hawaii is not the only state looking to impose legislation with a Washington State Senator also pushing for a new bill. Loot boxes have even become big news all over the world with since the controversy around Star Wars Battlefront 2’s microtransactions seeing countries like the UK and New Zealand declaring them not gambling. Belgium, on the other hand, sees the issue differently and is seeking to ban loot boxes in Europe.