Gambling and video games. The two seem to have been doing a deadly dance that could potentially be devastating to the video game industry. On Monday, an international coalition tried to put on more pressure to avert the oncoming disaster. Although, it's doubtful a lot of the gaming industry will agree with their recommendations, in spite of their good intentions.
So what exactly happened on Monday? A new commission was made up of 15 European agencies and the Washington gambling commission and they released a statement about the gambling and gaming situation. They called on video game companies to reassess the effect their games can have. Specifically, the Chief Executive of the gambling commission, Neil McArthur, said, "We have joined forces to call on video games companies to address the clear public concern around the risks gambling and some video games can pose to children. We encourage video games companies to work with their gambling regulators and take action now to address those concerns to make sure that consumers, and particularly children, are protected.”
The group also advised companies to make sure loot boxes specifically we're not considered gambling under national laws where they seek to release their game. This is most likely referencing the recent decision made by Belgium that all loot boxes are considered gambling under their laws. They also called on these video game companies to crack down on illegal video game gambling on third party websites. An example of this would be skin betting.
The goal was to open a dialogue and force video game companies to talk about the increasingly blurred line between video games and gambling. This should hopefully be an improvement over the usual dismissal of any concerns. Although, EA is fighting Belgium on their decision.
What do you think? Will this open the conversation on gambling and video games more, or will it just be disregarded by big companies?