At Credit Suisse’s 21st Annual Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, Take-Two president Karl Slatoff discussed the lootbox controversy happening around the industry.
“The whole gambling regulator thing, we don’t view that thing as gambling,” Slatoff said. “Our view is the same as the ESA statement, for the most part. So that’s going to play its course.”
Statoff is referring to the Entertainment Software Agency, the lobbying group representing most of the biggest gaming companies such as Nintendo, Microsoft, and Take-Two, saying that lootboxes do not qualify as gambling in their eyes.
Lootboxes have become deeply unpopular among the gaming populace and, more alarmingly for companies like Take-Two, are being pointed to as harbingers of an easy avenue for gambling by local and federal governments both internationally and abroad.
“In terms of the consumer noise you hear in the market right now, for me it’s really all about content. It’s about over-delivering on content,” said Slatoff. “You can’t force the consumer to do anything.”
Slatoff is right that they aren’t forcing people to buy anything, but that doesn’t mean you leave the door wide open to dangerous and predatory aspects of games. The ESA will likely fight public perception of lootboxes as bad things for as long as they can, but it seems like it will ultimately be a losing battle.