GTA 5 Publisher Says Loot Boxes Aren’t Gambling, Games Will be “100% Digital” Soon

President of GTA 5 publisher Take-Two Interactive Karl Slatoff has recently given his thoughts on the current state of the video game industry, specifically the seemingly endless loot box conversation and the future of video games as a whole. Slatoff says that Take-Two Interactive “does not view” loot boxes as gambling.

This was all revealed in a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz. The GTA 5 and NBA 2K18 publisher shares the same view as the ESA – Entertainment Software Assocation – on the very hot topic of whether or not loot boxes should be considered gambling. For those that don’t know, the ESA is a US-based company that hosts E3 in Los Angeles every year, and assists many publishers like Take-Two Interactive in business matters.

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Though mostly related to violent video games, the ESA has promoted freedom through the First Amendment for publishers and developers in its policies, which would include the controversial right to offer loot boxes in games. According to Slatoff, loot boxes will continue to exist and “play its course”, but content should be first in a video game, such as the case with GTA 5 and the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2.

GTA 5 Loot Boxes

Slatoff also spoke on the future of the video game industry, specifically saying that video games will be “100% digital” sometime in the next 5-20 years. According to the Take-Two Interactive President, the success of Sony and Microsoft’s online services have caused the industry to speed towards an all-digital future “quicker than people imagined.”

This shift to digital-only games is one of the causes for publishers to explore alternate routes like microtransactions and loot boxes as extra revenue for games, such as the recent uproar over Star Wars Battlefront 2 that is still raging today. It’s far from the only game to be under fire this year, as was Take-Two Interactive’s own NBA 2K18 for its controversial use of microtransactions.