Fenwick Games Team Talks Loot Crates and In-Game Purchase Systems

Fenwick lawyer Nicholas Plassaras talked to Corporate Counsel about the use of loot crates (also known as “loot boxes”) in video games—an increasingly common in-game purchase system where players use real money to buy a box of virtual items—and whether they should be classified as gambling.

Plassaras, a member of the Fenwick games team, discussed the arguments against classifying loot boxes as gambling. He also told Corporate Counsel that general counsels and other gaming leaders need to carefully consider the impact of loot crates on their audience.

While in-house lawyers do need to consider potential future legal changes that could impact their published games, the impact on business is already happening. Gamers have already criticized the loot crates’ ability to unfairly advance gameplay.

“Think about as a game company, publisher, what effect you want the loot crates to have on the gameplay experience. Gamers today are sophisticated, savvy, and up to speed on how these games work. If they are happy with the business model, that can have a huge boon. But it’s really important not to lose sight of the fact that whether or not formal regulation is imposed, consumers know how to vote with their dollars,” he said.

The Fenwick games team has represented pioneering game publishers, developers, platform manufacturers and content providers in the interactive entertainment arena, including Sega, King, Peak Games, Supercell, Gram Games, Glu Mobile, Google and Facebook.

The full article is available on Corporate Counsel (subscription required).​​​​​​​​​​