The Benelux states might lead a revolution against loot boxes.
The ResetEra forum linked to a motion that would make the Netherlands the next country after Belgium to ban loot boxes altogether. The motion is almost sure to pass the Dutch Senate, as it has bipartisan support (six parties have expressed their consent), meaning that both the governing parties and the opposition have backed it!
According to the motion, “In video games, children are manipulated into making microtransactions, and loot boxes are also a form of gambling. They can get addicted and burden families with unexpected bills for these transactions.” (Especially if they are unknowingly caught in the children’s spending!).
And it is not the first time we have heard of such a situation. A month ago, we wrote: “The consumer protection bodies of a dozen and a half European countries have decided that enough is enough with loot boxes. The eighteen European countries from which the twenty organisations spoke are Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. They all support the report of the Norwegian Consumer Council (the NCC), titled “Insert Coin: How the Gaming Industry Exploits Consumers Using Loot Boxes.”
They want to see more changes: banning misleading design, more protection for minors, and transparency around transactions are among them. The report accuses companies of taking advantage of consumers with mechanisms that are addictive and predatory. The 59-page document used FIFA 22 and Raid: Shadow Legends as examples and reads, “Both games employ a wide arsenal of tricks to push consumers into spending as much time and money as possible exploiting consumers [who] hope to receive the reward despite a minuscule chance and likelihood to do so.”
So the Netherlands is almost sure to join Belgium, and after the Benelux states, it’s only a matter of time before the tables are turned in Western Europe on Electronic Arts.