Brazil has opened an inquiry into loot boxes, in a move that may lead to a ban and hefty fines on companies offering the monetization scheme. This follows a recommendation from the the country’s National Association of Child and Adolescent Defense Centers (ANCED), reports GamesIndustry.biz.
ANCED argued that loot boxes are a form of gambling, which is illegal in Brazil. If the ban is approved, Brazil could fine violators up to BRL $4 million (roughly $706,000) per day. That would likely be after some length of a grace period allowing companies to disable the mechanism.
The inquiry is targeting companies like Activision, EA, Konami, Nintendo, Riot Games, Ubisoft, Tencent, and Valve. Some companies like EA have already made plans to block the randomized mechanic, like FIFA Ultimate Team packs, in countries where it’s disallowed.
Much of the pushback against loot boxes began when Star Wars: Battlefront 2 caught attention worldwide for the mechanic. That was an especially public example, and in the years since many companies have shifted their strategies to other monetization methods. Loot boxes have been largely replaced at this point by battle passes and other cosmetic DLC sales.