Hawaii is already known as the first state to really publicly speak out against the game industry’s use of loot boxes and similar in-game revenue generators. The local government began having public discourse on the matter around when the Star Wars: Battlefront II stuff was blowing up. Now, the Hawaii government has followed through, and multiple new regulatory bills have been introduced by both the state’s Senate and House.
These bills target reward systems in games that require real money purchases and include an element of randomization. The motivation of course, being concerns about psychological manipulation and gambling. The first two bills, House Bill 2686 and Senate Bill 3024, are age-restrictions. If these bills pass, games with loot box-style transactions would be illegal to sell to anyone under the age of 21. The other two bills, House Bill 2727 and Senate Bill 3025, are about labels. These would require not only warning labels on the packaging of games that include loot boxes, but also full disclosure of drop rates.
There’s no indication of how likely these bills are to move forward at all. The fact that they are coming out at all will likely put pressure on the industry and organizations like the ESRB to take the matter more seriously than before.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald