Above: The 13th-and-a-half time is the charm. For roughly 10 years, loot boxes have come to play increasingly important role in the business models of game developers and publishers. In fact, these redeemable virtual rewards, which involve accessing maps, weapons and a whole range of upgrades to your in-game functionality, have become so popular that some developers have completely shifted their monetization models away from paid-for-games to free-to-play games because of the revenue they provide.

Such an approach has not gone unnoticed by regulators interested in how they should classify such systems. In particular, the situations where loot boxes providing random rewards can be purchased for cash have come under particular scrutiny because of their potential classification as a form of gambling. In fact, some regulators have taken steps to restrict these mechanisms for this exact reason, with the Belgium Gaming Commission recently following its Dutch counterpart in banning them for being “in violation of gambling regulation”.

For an industry that has grown fat on the profits of this monetization model, such legislation could have a major impact. This is especially true if other regulatory bodies follow suit.

As a result, developers might revert back to a business model based on advertising or selling games rather than giving them away for free. However, rather than make such a drastic U-turn, they could find salvation in the shape of the blockchain.

By implementing a new tokenized economic model that this technology provides, game developers could not only continue to make money without having to rely on advertising but also implement a system that would reward gamers for the time they spend playing games. Loot boxes first emerged in Asia, but have become more well-known after social game developers like Zynga successfully implemented them. Read more from venturebeat.com…

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