The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) has released a new guidance for video game loot boxes, which consists of 11 principles. They are designed to be followed by developers, publishers, and other market participants.
According to the announcement on the Ukie website, these principles were designed by the Technical Working Group, which includes various games industry representatives. They were assisted by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS and third-party advocacy groups.
“We’ve been clear the video games industry needs to do more to protect children and adults from the harms associated with loot boxes,” John Whittingdale, UK minister for the Creative Industries, said in a statement.
Here are some of the key principles reflected in Ukie’s new guidance:
- Restrict gamers under the age of 18 from purchasing loot boxes without the consent of a parent, carer or guardian;
- Form an expert panel on age assurance in the games industry to develop and share practices regarding loot boxes, engage with regulators and lawmakers, and consult with gamers, parents, and caregivers;
- Disclose the presence of loot boxes prior to purchase and download of a game;
- Disclose the probability of obtaining chance-based rewards from loot boxes;
- Enforce clear refund policies on loot boxes purchased without parental consent;
- Tackle unauthorized external sales of loot box items for real money.
According to Ukie co-CEO Daniel Wood, this guidance should help the UK “improve protections for all players and underlines the industry’s commitment to safe and responsible play.”
Information about all 11 principles, their detailed descriptions, and how they should work in practice can be found in the full document.