PEGI agrees that loot crates are not gambling
Also, they don't make those calls.
Over the past two weeks, gamers have been growing more and more divided on the subject of loot crates. While some simply shrug off their presence in games, others have grown frustrated over their potential to add a pay-to-win feature in the game.
Recently, the ESRB has come out to say that they do not believe loot crates to be gambling. Despite the fact that gamers have the option to pay real money for something no better than a mystery box, the ESRB likened loot crates to card collecting.
Prior to opening a packet of cards (let's say Pokemon cards or Magic cards), you are not aware of the contents of the package. It's possible that the card pack will mainly contain duplicates of cards you already own or hold something rare inside. The ESRB argued that loot crates are no different than this experience.
Now, the European equivalent of the ESRB, PEGI, has revealed their thoughts on loot crates, and it's not too different. According to PEGI, it's not gambling because you get something out of every loot crate. On top of that, they know they aren't the ones to make the decision on if loot crates are gambling anyway.
"Loot crates are currently not considered gambling: you always get something when you purchase them, even if it's not what you hoped for," said PEGI's Dirk Bosmans to Eurogamer. "For that reason, a loot crate system does not trigger the gambling content descriptor."
"It's not up to PEGI to decide whether something is considered gambling or not - this is defined by national gambling laws,” Bosmans continued.
”If something is considered gambling, it needs to follow a very specific set of legislation, which has all kinds of practical consequences for the company that runs it. Therefore, the games that get a PEGI gambling content descriptor either contain content that simulates what is considered gambling or they contain actual gambling with cash payouts. If PEGI would label something as gambling while it is not considered as such from a legal point of view, it would mostly create confusion."
Basically, it's a long-winded way of saying 'we have no issue with it, but we aren't in charge.'