FTC head promises look at videogame 'loot boxes'

|By:, SA News Editor

As part of today's hearing into FTC oversight, agency Chairman Joe Simons promised he would look into videogame "loot boxes" -- a method of recurring revenue that's growing increasingly important for big game releases.

Such boxes, which in the game contain virtual items like powerful weapons or equipment, can be bought with real money and are a growing revenue stream for videogame makers faced with huge budgets for their games.

Those boxes are "endemic" to the industry from console flagships to smartphone apps, Sen. Maggie Hassan said in the hearing. She shares other observer's concerns about such boxes contributing to problem gambling.

Sen. Ed Markey expressed concerns about manipulative loot-box marketing, including a character who continues to cry if the child playing the game doesn't make a purchase.

Key videogame software makers: ATVI, EA, TTWO, SNE, MSFT, OTCPK:NTDOY, OTCPK:UBSFY, OTC:NCBDY, OTCPK:CCOEY.

ETFs: GAMR, ESPO

Previously: Key October releases pace videogame sales to record (Nov. 20 2018)

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