The government is asking for the public’s opinion about the impact of loot boxes in video games, in an eight-week consultation.
Loot boxes are a controversial feature of many video games – both console and mobile.
When a player purchases a loot box, they only find out what is inside it once they have paid.
It may contain a digital prize that’s valuable within the game, but equally it may contain nothing useful.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport wants to hear from players, and the parents and guardians of young players. It is also interested in research carried out by academics and video games companies.
The deadline for submitting views is 22 November.
Caroline Dinenage, Minister for Digital and Culture, said the addition of tools such as time limits, set up via parental controls, was helpful.
“But we’ve listened to parents’ concerns about loot boxes and it’s right that we fully examine and understand any evidence of the harm or links to problem gambling they can cause, so we can decide if action is needed.”
In Belgium, loot boxes which have to be purchased with real money, rather than earned through game play, were banned in 2018.
The following year, Fortnite made its lootboxes see-through so that players knew what they were buying in advance.