Germany set to make loot boxes an 18+ mechanic

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The Bundestag, Germany’s federal parliament, passed the change to the law on Friday, to protect children from predatory gambling mechanics in games. 

As reported by Der Spiegel the reformed law highlights “risks from gambling-like mechanisms” which would cause the age rating of affected games to rise.

Lawyer Julia Maris told Der Spiegel that “Online games or other applications that use loot boxes or similar in-game offers would probably be classified with an age rating of 18 and over.” 

The changed law has yet to be approved by the Bundesrat, Germany’s federal council, however, it’s likely that the reformed law will come into force in the spring.

The law focused on games previously classified as harmless such as Fifa 21. Due to the inclusion of FIFA Ultimate Team where players can purchase card pack loot boxes with real-world money for a chance at nabbing a skilled player. 

This change could drastically increase the age rating of FIFA and similar games, or mandate that they’re deactivated by default. 

More about the topics: age ratings, FIFA 21, Loot Boxes, microtransactions, ratings boards

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