Game devs defend loot boxes, call restrictions “censorship”


The International Game Developers Association have called looming loot box legislation “censorship” of developers’ creative and business decisions.

Did you know, games with loot boxes will soon carry a special ESRB label.

At this year’s Game Developer Conference, IGDA plan on holding a roundtable discussion, titled Censorship Strikes Back Roundtable, for “game developers and allies who want to protect themselves, their work, and their peers from video game censorship.”

“Global gains against game censorship are suddenly at risk from a combination of actions against our industry,” the event description reads. “With the World Health Organization classifying ‘gaming disorder’ a mental health condition and burgeoning legislation around the world against loot boxes, a handful of government officials again wield outsized power over our creative and business decisions.

“Additionally, Augmented Reality (AR) faces bans in parks, military bases, churches around the world, and a total ban in China. What are developers to do? Join us for a discussion on how we can protect our rights.”

IGDA go on to call these restrictions “assaults” on the “self-expression and business rights” of game developers. The discussion at GDC aims to teach developers “about potential implications of recent government changes,” alongside how they can “protect themselves and support their peers.”

Legislation is definitely looming. A number of US states and countries around the world are investigating loot boxes: Hawaii, Sweden, Germany, Washington, Australia, Belgium, and the Netherlands among them. But it could be some time before formal legislation takes place.