The loot box controversy in Star Wars Battlefront 2 shows no signs of slowing down. Every day, it seems a new government entity has decided to launch an investigation into the game’s use of loot boxes, and now the state of Hawaii has thrown its hat into the ring as well. As announced by Democratic State Representative Chris Lee in a press conference, Hawaii’s government is investigating Star Wars Battlefront 2‘s use of loot boxes, and loot boxes in general, and may introduce legislation to ban children from playing games with them.
Lee’s speech, which can be seen in the video below, makes clear his feelings on the matter. Lee believes that Electronic Arts is utilizing “predatory practices” to prey on people with addictive personalities, in a manner not unlike casinos. While Lee’s entire speech is worth watching for anyone that is interested in the loot box controversy that has been taking the industry by storm as of late, this quote sums it up nicely:
“This game is a Star Wars-themed online casino. It’s a trap.”
If Hawaii does introduce legislation banning children from playing games like Star Wars Battlefront 2, it’s possible that we will see similar bills on a nationwide scale. Beyond the United States, there is a possibility this will happen on a global scale as well, as the Belgian government and the Dutch Gaming Authority have both launched similar investigations. If this occurs, then it is highly likely that most games will drop loot boxes entirely, as including them would mean being banned from sale to a huge portion of the gaming audience.
After all, M-rated games aren’t even banned from being played by children. Most stores won’t sell M-rated games to kids due to corporate policies, but kids can still see these games in stores and convince their parents to buy them. By banning kids from playing loot box-filled games, it’s likely that titles like Star Wars Battlefront 2 would be completely pulled from store shelves, like we saw when Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was slapped with an Adults Only rating during the height of the “Hot Coffee” incident.
Right now, it’s hard to say if Hawaii’s investigation will result in actual legislation against loot boxes and other potentially predatory business models. However, this press conference will bring even more negative attention to the Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot box controversy, and one has to wonder if all this will see Disney hand the Star Wars games license to another publisher in the future.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.