Hawaii Will Investigate "Predatory" Loot Boxes, Potentially Pursue Legislation to Ban Them

Hawaii Will Investigate "Predatory" Loot Boxes, Potentially Pursue Legislation to Ban Them

Hawaii joins Belgium in the loot box crackdown.

Belgium's Gaming Commission has already declared loot boxes to be gambling earlier today, but the state of Hawaii has announced that it too will be looking into what they call, "predatory practices in online gaming."

Chris Lee, the Democratic State Representative of Hawaii, announced in a press conference that his office will be looking into legislation that could potentially ban games like Star Wars: Battlefront 2, and other games with loot-based systems. He cites the need to protect young children as part of why Hawaii is looking into loot systems in games.

If Hawaii is successful, this could lead to a national political tide against loot systems in video games.

"This game is a Star Wars-themed online casino," said Lee who specifically cites Star Wars: Battlefront 2 in his press conference. Specifically, Lee announced that Hawaii will look into the "significant financial consequences that [loot boxes] on families." Referencing Star Wars' Admiral Akbar, Lee added, "It's a trap."

It sounds that Lee plans on pursuing legislation to at least ban these games from underage consumers, though the full extent of the legislation has yet to be seen.

EA's Star Wars Battlefront 2 has kickstarted a firestorm of controversy surrounding loot boxes. Players first brought criticism against the company for promoting pay-to-win tactics in how loot crates worked, requiring players to return to the loot crates to gain important skills in multiplayer.

After a large enough backlash began rising against EA, the company announced that it would temporarily remove loot boxes from the game until EA could strike the right "balance."

However, the controversy seems to have been enough to start getting government bodies to begin investigating in earnest whether loot boxes are gambling.

This is a developing story and we will update it as more information comes to light.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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