Loot Box

Children will find it much harder to go on sugar-fueled loot box binges in future, as the UK games industry has agreed to a set of 11 guidelines which should restrict the little tykes' access to in-game loot boxes moving forward.

This series of "improved protections for children, young people and adults following concerns raised about loot boxes" has been unveiled by the industry trade association UKIE, with co-CEO Daniel Wood declaring: "Publishing these shared Principles for how the industry approaches loot boxes is a UK first and provides us with a clear direction moving forwards."

Teens not yet 18 will find themselves affected, as the first direction minces no words in its mandate: "Make available technological controls to effectively restrict anyone under the age of 18 from acquiring a Loot Box, without the consent or knowledge of a parent, carer or guardian." The short version of all 11 directives can be viewed below:

  1. Make available technological controls
  2. Drive awareness of and uptake of technological controls
  3. Form an expert panel on age assurance in the games industry
  4. Disclose the presence of Loot Boxes prior to purchase
  5. Give clear probability disclosures
  6. Design and present Loot Boxes in a manner that is easily understandable
  7. Support the implementation of the Video Games Research Framework
  8. Continue to tackle the unauthorised external sale of items acquired from Loot Boxes
  9. Commit to lenient refund policies
  10. Advance protections for all players
  11. Work with UK Government and other relevant stakeholders to measure the effectiveness of these principles

This move appears to have been brewing for a while, with the UK government eyeing the situation since 2017. It was only last year that it really started leaning on game companies, threatening that if they couldn't get a handle on the situation themselves, then Big Brother would be happy to assume direct control.

What do you think of UKIE's 11-step plan to deal with the scourge of loot boxes? Let us know in the comments section below.

[source ukie.org.uk, via eurogamer.net]