The German parliament passed a new youth protection law that targets games with loot box mechanics.
This law makes it illegal for game publishers to sell any games that have any sort of loot box-type mechanics to minors. Germany has been pushing towards strict rules when it comes to gambling-related games that are roaming freely in digital stores.
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Since these games are really exploitative towards underage audiences, many EU countries have started to crack down on this activity. From now on, there will be strict rules when it comes to selling games to minors.
Shops and the postal services will need to check your ID before selling games with loot boxes whether you buy online or offline.
New rules for selling games to minors
- Games in Germany are rated by ages (0,6,12,16,18)
- you cant buy a game rated 18 if you are not 18
- Shops will check your ID or the postal service will check your ID if you buy online
- Games with loot box mechanic (Fifa 21: Ultimate Team, rated 12) would either be rated 18 or must deactivate their loot box mechanic
- A game with a loot box mechanic could not be rated lower than 18
- loot box mechanic: “Paid content with gambling-like mechanisms”
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Games with loot boxes will also need to be either rated 18 or the loot boxes need to be deactivated from the game altogether. This is a welcome change since exposing addictive gambling like mechanics to minors was not a good idea, to begin with.