Spain to Regulate Videogame Loot Boxes: NFTs and Crypto On the List

In the coming weeks, Spain is set to come up with a law to regulate the use of loot boxes in video games. More importantly, the regulation will include any gaming features that offer NFTs and crypto as rewards.

Jul 6, 2022
by Akira Ming
Spain to Regulate Videogame Loot Boxes: NFTs and Crypto On the List

Tighter regulations on videogame loot boxes in Spain

In a bid to curb "thoughtless, compulsive, or even pathological" consumer behavior, Spain is looking to pass a law to regulate the use of loot boxes in video games. If it goes through, Spain will become the first European country to do so. 

According to Consumer Minister Alberto Garzon, the government will regulate gaming features that offer rewards with real monetary value in real and virtual markets. Such rewards include NFTs and crypto as well. Given that, there's a potential for the country to look into Web3 games soon. 

As reported by Reuters, Garzon said the law will allow gamers to "have fun while preserving their health and, in particular, that of the most vulnerable". However, he did not reveal any details on the framework of the regulation. 

Why the crackdown on loot boxes? 

To begin with, loot boxes are virtual treasure chests that can contain valuable weapons or equipment to boost players' gameplay. For that reason, many avid gamers are willing to pay, mostly in real money, to acquire these boxes. 

In one of the research commissioned by the GambleAware charity in the UK, out of the 93% of children who play video games, up to 40% of them opened loot boxes. Big spenders usually spend more than $100 on the boxes, but they are not necessarily coming from a wealthy background. 

With that, researchers are pointing to the fact that loot boxes are closely linked to problematic gambling behaviors among gamers. So if left unregulated, it will encourage rampant spending by gamers at a worrying pace. 

How will this affect play-to-earn games? 

Admittedly, much of the arguments here can be applied to P2E games as well. For instance, many Web3 games do contain elements of loot boxes, in which players can obtain more powerful NFTs to win more battles. 

Not to mention that the cryptocurrencies earned in the game do carry real monetary value in actuality. So, in a way, players will be driven to spend more (some say gamble more) on loot boxes or exclusive NFTs in the hope to earn more money. 

With all things considered, it is possible for countries, or in this case, Spain, to start looking into P2E games. Hopefully, as time goes by, we will have better clarity on how these regulations will help players and the gaming industry as a whole. 

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