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Hawaii Joins In Condemning EA And Loot Boxes, Wants To Block Battlefront II Sales

EA Star Wars Battlefront II.BagoGames/Flickr

At this point, it’s safe to say that loot boxes and microtransactions are incredibly unpopular features in games with anyone except the publishers. Everyone from the gamers to developers, and now, even politicians hate the idea of putting what essentially amounts to gambling in full-priced titles. After Belgium, Hawaii is the most recent region to make a stand against the predatory practice.

In what is likely to be another scene straight out of EA’s nightmares, Hawaii has cast its ballot against loot boxes, Gamasutra reports. This came via the island state’s representative, Chris Lee, who classified the practice as “predatory behavior.”

Lee was particularly incensed at the loot box controversy involving Battlefront II, releasing a YouTube video titled “Highlights of the EA predatory behavior announcement.” In the clip, the representative lambasted EA, calling the game a “Star Wars-themed casino.”

In an effort to combat this behavior, Lee said that he will be introducing legislation in Hawaii that will effectively block the sale of all games that feature loot boxes that are accessible to minors. Basically, the title would need to be classified as M for mature if it wants to have a feature.

Developers are also weighing in on the matter of microtransactions and loot boxes, with some saying in an interview with PC Gamer that this was due to a “false narrative.” According to one producer, companies are basically jumping on the loot box bandwagon simply because it’s where the money is at.

"I think there's a false narrative that runs around, when [companies] see growth somewhere, they think 'oh, we have to be part of this,'" the producer said. "[The impulse is] 'Oh god, let's put this in our game.' When in reality, you don't need to do that… There's definitely a mentality of 'oh god, we have to do something... Mobile is doing so well.'"

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