One of the biggest draws to games like PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is the opportunity to create viral moments and experience adventures with your friends.
The concept is quite simple: players compete for resources, attack each other with acquired guns and ammo, and set out to eliminate everyone else from the arena. Once a player is eliminated, they typically cannot respawn (there are exceptions in certain games) and need to jump into a new match. If you’re the last one standing, you’re the victor.
Both games make use of loot boxes. This means that players can spend real-life currency to get in-game money to buy a surprise item that they will only know the content of once they have already made the purchase.
But just yesterday (14 Oct), the Malaysian Mufti announced on their Facebook page that spending money on purchasable in-game loot boxes is haram or not permissible under Islam as it is akin to gambling.
The mufti’s office explained that loot boxes in video games are a zero-sum game, whereby the type of rewards obtained by players depends entirely on luck.
“Ownership (of said items) is only valid by placing a bet. If luck is on the players’ side, they can obtain the items by opening only one loot box. However, it is possible that players will not be able to get the items (they want) even after dozens of attempts and spending thousands of UC,” the post said in terms of PUBG.
They further explained that loot boxes deny players the right to directly purchase the items that they desire.
“This is clear when players bet on obtaining certain items from loot boxes like the Premium Crate. Players have to pay 120 UC in order to open a crate, after which the rewards are decided at random. There is a possibility that players get or don’t get the items they want,” it added.
The mufti’s office then also advised Muslim players to refrain from opening loot boxes by spending real money.
While it might be haram but still doable here, countries like Belgium and The Netherlands have completely banned loot boxes as it resembles gambling whereas, in Japan and China, it is strictly regulated.
Same same but different gitu…