Two European countries' Rockets League Nixes Loot Boxes

  • The Rocket League has released a patch to remove the booty box in two countries to comply with local laws prohibiting this practice. With the 1.61 patch, players in Belgium and the Netherlands are no longer able to use the earned keys to open the box "according to government regulations".

    Last year, in response to concerns about games such as Star Wars Frontline 2, both countries claimed that the spoil box constitutes gambling and is therefore illegal. Governments in these countries believe that this practice may induce minors to gamble. In January, EA cancelled FIFA points in Belgium for the same reason. The situation about RL Items is not yet known.

    Some countries have made this practice illegal, but it is far from being fully resolved. Both New Zealand and France have determined that the booty box is not gambling, and investigations in the United States and Australia are still ongoing. This makes this inconsistent, like the Rocket League and FIFA, developers allow micro-transactions in certain countries rather than micro-transactions in other countries.

    In February of this year, a US senator wrote to the Federal Trade Commission to criticize this practice as predatory. Soon after, the US Federal Trade Commission announced a public seminar but declined to comment on whether any formal investigations were underway.

    Last year, ESRB responded to growing concerns by announcing new tagging tools to more clearly identify games with Rocket League Items and similar micro-transactional solutions.