Loot boxes and pay-to-win elements of video games have increasingly become a hot topic not only within the gaming community but the world at large. Many countries like Belgium and the Netherlands have taken legal action against loot boxes or even outright banned them, citing the random chance mechanic’s connection to gambling. Many members of the gaming community have spoken out against the increasingly common practice, with Twitch streamer Asmongold recently pushing the issue towards the United States government.
Asmongold has been one of the most outspoken streamers when it comes to the loot box debate, criticizing the inclusion of loot boxes in games. The streamer’s vehement stance against loot boxes has even led him to pass over popular games like Genshin Impact due to the inclusion of luck-based microtransactions. During a recent stream, Asmongold confirmed that the popular content creator had reached out to US senator Ted Cruz to have a discussion about loot boxes and gambling in games. Now, the senator has acknowledged Asmongold’s efforts during a recent episode of Cruz’s podcast.
During an episode of Cruz and co-host Michael Knowles’ “Verdict” podcast, Cruz and Knowles discuss loot boxes in video games, specifically mentioning Asmongold’s recent contact. Cruz addresses Asmongold’s concerns over loot boxes and their connection with gambling, confirming he would be “happy to engage in a conversation with Asmongold.” Cruz went on to express his own personal distaste for microtransactions geared towards giving players inherent advantages, especially when regarding younger players.
While Cruz was uncertain about the potential of the case with the federal government, the controversial subject has already seen legal action from several nations worldwide. Alongside the previously-mentioned Belgium and Netherlands, Germany was considering a new law last year that would warn players about games containing loot boxes. Brazil also reportedly was toying with the idea of a loot box ban and the UK government has been openly opposed to gambling in video games.
As loot boxes and gacha mechanics become more common in major high-profile games, some games have become particularly noteworthy for their lack of gambling mechanics. Blizzard recently confirmed that Overwatch 2 would not feature loot boxes as the sequel shooter moves to a free-to-play model. Halo Infinite also notably did not include loot boxes with developer 343 Industries shifting to a “battle pass” system, following the popularity of games like Fortnite. While some companies have looked to distance themselves from loot boxes, the random-chance mechanics remain a controversial topic that doesn’t seem to be going away.