People are Petitioning Against Loot Boxes After ESRB Statement

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Those fed up with the current state of loot boxes in games are making their voices heard by starting petitions against the feature that many are saying is exploitative and unfair.

News about lot boxes in different games is in no short supply recently, especially with big-name games like Star Wars: Battlefront II making headlines thanks to a loot system that seems pretty questionable to longtime fans. They’re not the only game to incorporate the boxes by any means, but with so many franchises opting for the system at this point, some gamers are getting fed up.

The statement from the ESRB, the organization responsible for rating games, is a direct factor in the creation of one anti-loot box petition in particular. For those that didn’t catch the ESRB stepping into the discussion, the organization issued a statement detailing their take on whether loot boxes could be considered gambling or not. Their stance on loot boxes is that they aren’t a form of gambling since you’re always going to get something, even if it’s not exactly what you wanted.

“ESRB does not consider loot boxes to be gambling,” their response began. “While there’s an element of chance in these mechanics, the player is always guaranteed to receive in-game content (even if the player unfortunately receives something they don’t want). We think of it as a similar principle to collectible card games: Sometimes you’ll open a pack and get a brand new holographic card you’ve had your eye on for a while. But other times you’ll end up with a pack of cards you already have.”

One petition attempts to sway the ESRB’s perspective by amassing signatures to push for an “adults only” rating for video games in which you can gamble, a characteristic of some AO games that’s not unheard of. That petition has amassed over 1,500 signatures in one day after being created, but another that considers a different route has more voices.

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A petition in the UK calls for gambling laws to be adapted in order to account for video games with pseudo-gambling features that may target children. With over 10,000 signatures, the government is now obligated to respond to the petition. It’s still quite far from the 100,000-mark where Parliament must consider debating it, but it could be on its way.

The loot box debate will likely go on until either publishers, the ESRB, or even certain governments step in as the petitions suggest, but until then, expect to see the microtransactions and randomized loot continue.