The US Federal Trade Commission Will Investigate Loot Boxes

Chairman of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Joseph Simmons, gives a simple “yes” to a Senate Commerce Subcommittee when asked about whether the FTC will investigate loot boxes, which allow in-game purchases with real currency.

Loot boxes are now endemic in the video game industry and are present in everything from casual smartphone games to the newest, high-budget video game releases. Loot boxes will represent a $50 billion industry by the year 2022, according to the latest research estimates. Children may be particularly susceptible to engaging with these in-game purchases, which are often considered integral components of video games.

Senator Maggie Hassan has requested Simmons to start the investigation on loot boxes to determine whether loot boxes constitute gambling. Hassan said that it was time for the FTC to investigate these mechanisms to ensure that children are being adequately protected and also to educate parents about potential addiction and other negative impacts of these games.

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