Jash Hawley, senator in the United States, has gotten to know his project for prohibits random or partially random microtransactions as well as payment systems that “artificially” manipulate the difficulty of reducing costs or allowing the purchase of competitive advantages in a multiplayer mode.
Jash Hawley and his law on the protection of minors’ privacy
The Federal Trade Commission will be responsible for enforcing the new rulesalthough the state-level general tax authorities will also be empowered to take action against game developers and editors.
Hawley comments that “social media and video games benefit from user dependence, divert our children’s attention from the real world, and benefit from the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder.” Regardless of the benefits of this business model for the technology industry, one thing is clear: there is no excuse for exploring children through these practices ”.
“When a game is designed for children, game developers do not have to allow them to monetize the addiction. And when children play games designed for adults, they must avoid compulsive microtransactions. The creators of games that explode deliberately for children must assume legal consequences, ”the senator added.
If Jash Hawley has struggled with child-oriented games, it is clear that he has an ESRB (PEGI in Europe) under the age of 18 or the majority. These microtransactions tend to be hidden if a child is playing with that title in fact, it violates its content rating system.
To prevent all sales games with an adult-only rating and that editors and developers get their hands dirty, the bill says the distinction between which games are “played by minors” will be based on “the theme, the visual content.” and other indicators similar to those used to determine the applicability of the Privacy Protection Act to the benefit of children ”.
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Entertainment Software Association: «loot boxes are not bets»
In response to the senator’s announcement, Stanley Pierre-Louis, acting president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association, issued the following statement:
“A number of countries, including Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, have decided that the loot boxes do not bet. We hope to share with the senator the tools and information that the industry already provides that maintain cost control in the game in the hands of the fathers. Parents already have the option to restrict or prohibit in-game purchases with easy-to-use parental controls ”.
Candy Crush and FIFA 19 are abusive
One of the examples that the senator mentioned was Candy destruction, which is called a “notorious example of this practice”, where if the game is free, players can purchase packages of up to 150 euros, adding live and temporary help to advance in the game. Just this game has generated over $ 2,000 million for Activision Blizzardand it is that the title holds nothing less than 268 million active users per monthnot to mention them $ 2.400 million in microtransactions as part of FIFA 19 of electronic art.
Also games like Fortnite, Overwatch or PUBG have been laundered by lawmakers in the past for loot boxes and P2W microtransactions. This practice has been banned in some European countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands, and US lawmakers have studied similar measures.