Loot boxes in online games and their effect on consumers, in particular young consumers

16-07-2020

This paper defines loot boxes and describes their behavioural effects, including problematic behaviour. It examines the regulatory framework at EU and national level within which loot boxes operate, provides an overview of public and industry practices, and derives recommendations. Framing the debate around loot boxes, away from gambling and towards consumer protection, would provide the EU with an array of tools to address problematic practices and minimise potential harm, especially for minors.

This paper defines loot boxes and describes their behavioural effects, including problematic behaviour. It examines the regulatory framework at EU and national level within which loot boxes operate, provides an overview of public and industry practices, and derives recommendations. Framing the debate around loot boxes, away from gambling and towards consumer protection, would provide the EU with an array of tools to address problematic practices and minimise potential harm, especially for minors.

External author

Annette CERULLI-HARMS et al