Washington State lawmakers are beginning to seriously consider whether Loot Boxes, which have became prevalent last year, can or should be considered under the sate’s gaming commission. Loot Boxes, a term which has come to mean any system for which money is exchanged for randomized rewards, have been an extremely popular monetization strategy for many games. “Star Wars: Battlefront II”, published by EA, was at the center of the current outrage regarding them. The game distributed nearly all in game rewards in this randomized fashion, and was balanced such that any reward would require unreasonable amounts of time to unlock, and this included game progression. Fans were outraged and backlashed immediately, and harshly, and lawmakers around the world began taking notice.
January 11th, 2018, a bill was read in the Washington State Senate, SB 6266, with the title “Concerning loot boxes in online games and apps” by Senators Ranker, Carlyle, and Keiser. The bill, if passed, would instruct the state’s gaming commission to investigate Loot Boxes as gambling, and present its findings by December 1st, 2018 to the Senate. An amendment was added in February of this year to add Skins to the language of the bill, adding cosmetic items to those being evaluated. The bill’s sponsors have been contacted for comment, and more will be added on this story as it develops.