For gamers, loot boxes are something that need no introduction. A couple of European countries have called for its ban. Electronic Arts, one of the pioneers of loot boxes, also attempted to soften the blow on its golden goose by calling it surprise mechanics. Now, it looks like a Malaysian consumer body is taking notice as well.
The Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) recently posted on Facebook, calling loot boxes a form of “silent gambling”. It calls the mechanic a revolution of collectable cards, where buyers rely on luck to get what they want. There’s also a bit that says “worst of all, it involves youngsters and children”.
Unfortunately, that’s all there is to the consumer body’s post on Facebook. The revolution bit notwithstanding, what the PPIM posted is essentially the basic definition of what a loot box is. In other words, this simply serves as a public service announcement of sorts. It’s difficult to imagine that there are gamers out there who are not already aware of what a loot box is.
That said, this can be important for parents who are not gamers, but have children who play games, especially of the mobile variety. After all, if there’s a cautionary tale for non-gamer parents to learn, one from the UK comes immediately to mind. For what it’s worth, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have all required games with loot boxes to disclose the odds of getting items within them.