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Digital Business Lawyer

Loot boxes: opening up the legal issues

Loot boxes - essentially a game mechanic that allows the player to purchase, or earn via gameplay, a virtual item (the loot box) that, when opened, rewards the player with one of a number of in-game items - featured heavily in the video games and often in the legal press last year, with some high profile industry names enduring a wave of negative press for their use of loot boxes. Given the way 2018 has started, the loot box debate looks set to continue this year. An aspect of the debate revolves around the possible regulation of loot boxes, for example whether gambling legislation is the most appropriate legislation for such purpose. Ben McMeechan of Harbottle & Lewis LLP provides an overview of the legal issues surrounding loot boxes with a focus on the UK perspective, and looks at how certain developments will influence the direction of regulation.

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