Games with loot boxes might be given automatic 18 rating in Germany

This is the result of changes to the country's youth protection laws

Games with loot boxes might be given automatic 18 rating in Germany

Germany could give video games that feature loot boxes or similar monetisation mechanics an 18 age rating by default.

That's according to local publication Spiegel – via Google Translate – which reports that a reform to the country's Youth Protection Act has passed on Friday, March 5th. Lawyer Julia Maris is quoted as saying that games that use "loot boxes or similar in-game offers" will likely "be classified with an age rating of 18 and over."

SPD Family Minister Franziska Giffey also said that: "We want clear symbols that indicate risks such as violence or cost traps."

The MD of German video games trade body GAME Felix Falk said that it's important that youth protection laws are functional and up-to-date.

The reforms haven't become law just yet; they need approval from Germany's Federal Council. If given the nod, they could come into effect in spring.

In the UK, a government investigation is underway, while in the USA, ratings agency ESRB now warn consumers about random loot mechanics.

For the full story head over to

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.