The German state of Bavaria has published a draft for new laws aimed at protecting minors from certain mobile monetisation practices.
The new guideline known as the ‘JuSchRiL’ was proposed for the ‘Interstate Treaty for the Protection of Minors’ (JMStV) specifying the invasiveness of certain models across media, which includes video games, mobile games and apps. Though before any action can be taken, the new draft has to be passed into law.
The draft focuses on how in-app ads are used to promote in-game monetisation. Baker & McKenzie associate Sebastian Schwiddessen has a breakdown of it here.
Section 4.6 of the document mentions that any advertisement directed at children can be unlawful if “an advantage is granted for viewing advertisement” or “the linking of profiles with another platform is advertised”.
Direct purchasing appeal is mentioned in the draft too, highlighting slogans that are targeted at young players such as “You should try it as well!” and “Get 20 loot boxes for €5”.
The interpretation is up for debate though as the document mentions that if this was the case, all offers displayed on children’s websites would need to be prohibited as well.
“Advertising shall not cause any physical or moral detriment to children and adolescents, nor shall it contain direct appeals to buy or rent goods or services directed at children or adolescents exploiting their inexperience and credulity,” states section 6.2 of the JMStV.
The full Interstate Treaty can be read here.
Loot boxes have been a hot topic of debate over the last couple of years, with the Belgian Gaming Commission declaring them as gambling before making them illegal in the country.