In October 2019, we published Gaming the system, which shone a light on the range of ways in which children spend money in online games. Our research found that some children are spending significant amounts of money trying to win items through loot boxes, with little chance of reward, and that they sometimes felt that their spending was out of control.
The Children’s Commissioner was pleased to see concerns around the monetisation of online gaming echoed in the Conservative Party’s 2019 election manifesto, which stated that the Gambling Act “is increasingly becoming an analogue law in a digital age”. This was met with a pledge to review the Act, “with a particular focus on tackling issues around loot boxes and credit card misuse”.
We’re submitting this briefing as evidence to the Government’s consultation on loot boxes in video games.