Loot boxes have become a regular feature in many mainstream video games. However, while their popularity is clear amongst gamers, the legal issues and positions from regulators about their use, both in the US and abroad, are a bit more murky. By the end of 2020, several of the major console manufacturers have pledged to require games developed for their platforms to disclose information on the relative rarity or probability of obtaining randomized virtual items. These required disclosures will also apply to game updates, if the update adds new loot box features. Many major publishers have made a similar commitment to provide such disclosures by the end of the year. Given these impending self-regulating industry moves, the handout below provides an overview of the key legal considerations for companies currently using, or considering using loot boxes in their games.

Legal Considerations for Loot Boxes

Photo of James Gatto James Gatto

Jim Gatto is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. He is Leader of the Blockchain Technology and Digital Assets Team and Social Media and Games Team. He is also Leader of the firm’s Open Source…

Jim Gatto is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. He is Leader of the Blockchain Technology and Digital Assets Team and Social Media and Games Team. He is also Leader of the firm’s Open Source Team.

Photo of Julia Kadish Julia Kadish

Julia Kadish is an associate in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the firm’s Chicago office and is a member of the Privacy and Cybersecurity Team.