There's no end in sight to the controversy surrounding loot boxes in gaming, which has crystallised around the launch of Star Wars Battlefront 2.
Last week, the Belgium Gaming Commision began an investigation into the practice of selling lumps of random in-game loot, sparked by the furore kicked up by Battlefront 2 prior to its launch.
Now, the Belgian commission has weighed in with its findings - and deemed loot boxes as "gambling"."The mixing of money and addiction is gambling," a spokesperson for the commision told Belgian news site VTM.
"It will require time, because we need to go to Europe with this.
We will absolutely try to forbid it."(Thanks to Eurogamer reader Daan for the full translation.)It sounds decisive, but it's worth treating with some caution.
Responding to the Belgian commission's latest statement, UK gaming lawyer Jas Purewal noted the country still had "no considered policy position, no stated strategy" and that "gambling authorities move slowly on the whole". Even if somehow it happens, I don't think it would actually change very much at all.
Only if this becomes a concerted international movement against video games gambling would things change.
The chances of that happening seems very low."Meanwhile, across the globe in Hawaii, down-with-the-kids Democrat politician Chris Lee added more fuel to EA's fire by publicly calling for legislation to end the sale of loot boxes to minors.
The debate over whether loot boxes should be considered gambling, feels like it has reached breaking point.
It's unlikely any of the above action will lead to direct consequences for Star Wars Battlefront 2 - new legislation takes time, and Battlefront has already launched - but wheels now seem to be in motion.
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