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For members of the videogame industry, loot boxes are no game. They’re a serious part of the revenue stream. But do loot boxes – grab bags of digital goodies bought with in-game virtual currency or real money – raise consumer protection concerns? What about the potential impact on young consumers? FTC staff and national experts are talking that over at an August 7, 2019, workshop, Inside the Game: Unlocking the Consumer Issues Surrounding Loot Boxes and the agenda was just posted.

FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Andrew Smith will open the event at 10:00 ET. The first panel, Treasure or Trifle?, will take A Macro Look at Microtransactions. Speakers will explore the role loot boxes play in the videogame ecosystem and the impact monetization models have on players.

The next panel, Head in the Game, will consider What Drives Loot Box Spending? Speakers will analyze the issues from the perspectives of psychology, operations research, marketing, and computer science.

A Level Playing Field – What’s Fair Game? That’s the question the third panel will take on. They’ll discuss current initiatives for disclosing in‐game microtransactions and explore other mechanisms that may enhance consumer protection. Mary Engle, Associate Director of the FTC’s Division of Advertising Practices, will offer closing remarks to put the day in perspective.

Inside the Game is free and open to the public. The workshop will convene at the FTC’s Constitution Center, 400 7th Street, S.W., in Washington, DC – or you can watch the live webcast.
FTC Inside the Game loot box workshop logo

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