Clearly, pushback against the lootbox monetization model is not going away, a fact that is once more being brought to light thanks to a report from the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC), which has the backing of 20 different organizations in 18 European countries.
The report argues why lootboxes should be regulated, calling to attention a variety of “manipulative” and “exploitative” tricks employed in the monetization such as countdown timers, flashy opening effects, and game design that imposes inconvenience or in-game disadvantage unless players spend money on a lockbox. The report further points out that transparent lootboxes – crates that display the odds of what goodies can get – only add to confusion, and the requirement of purchasing cash shop currency obfuscates a lockbox’s actual price.
The NCC ultimately calls for more regulation of consumer rights in the games industry, a ban on randomized content in exchange for money, a ban on deceptive design, and the end of cash shop currency.
The report has gotten lots of backing from Europe, with various consumer groups from 18 different countries throwing official backing of the NCC’s report, including the European Consumer Organization, an umbrella group that covers 46 independent consumer organisations from 32 countries in matters of consumer protection.