The parallels to a resistance rising up against an empire are not lost to us, so we’ll fight the urge to quote every relevant line in the films and simply report that both the Belgian government and the state of Hawaii are making moves against Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot box practices.
In specific, Minister of Justice Koen Geens has stated his intention to outright ban in-game purchases if you don’t know what you’re purchasing, and is quoted as saying that “mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child”. The process to ban loot box-style purchases will take time due to Geens having to approach Europe on the matter, but did declare his intention to try.
Meanwhile in the US, Representative Chris Lee of Hawaii has held a press conference about what he calls “predatory practices in online gaming”. In the conference he directly calls out Battlefront 2, calling it a “Star Wars-themed online casino designed to lure kids into spending money”. Lee’s proposed actions against loot box practices include legislation that would prohibit access to games like Battlefront 2 to underage children.
Rep. Lee further took to Reddit, calling on the people to contact their state representatives and voice support for similar legislation against microtransactions and loot boxes. “This is a fight that unites everyone, even the most polarized conservatives and progressives. Doing something is a political win for Democrats and Republicans alike,” wrote Lee. “We don’t need to change the laws in every state – we just need to change a few and it will be enough to draw the line and compel change.”
We were pretty sure that the outcry against EA’s business practices would be a catalyst for something changing, but we were definitely not expecting governments to actually attempt to help out. To say that this might be a real turning point doesn’t feel like such a stretch anymore.