More evidence to prove that in-game microtransactions are harmful

It looks like companies still utilising in-game gambling mechanics are going to be feeling the pressure again, with a new study from the Royal Society for Public Health, a charity in the UK, showing the level of damaged caused to younger games due to loot boxes and other ‘surprise mechanics’.

Overwatch/ Activision Blizzard

Published here in a great article by Rob Davies for The Guardian, the report suggests that the gambling mechanics in the gaming industry (worth around £700 million in the UK) affects around 2 in 5 younger gamers in the UK, with over half suggesting that they thought loot boxes encouraged them to gamble more in future.

Gambling mechanics have been a problem in gaming since the introduction of random chance purchases, but came to a head with the release of titles such as Star Wars: Battlefront 2, which pushed the envelope and showed customers the level that companies would be willing to go to in order to exploit their players.

Having felt the heat before with an investigation by the UK Parliament, game publishers may feel the squeeze again, with the charity urging the government to examine the practices more closely in the near future.

What do you think about the effects of loot boxes and gambling in the gaming industry?


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