A few months ago, Belgium joined some other European countries in deeming loot boxes gambling and therefore illegal. Blizzard will soon be disabling paid loot boxes in Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm in Belgium.
Blizzard open to discussion.
In an announcement posted to the official EU Blizzard forums, community manager ‘Vaneras’ said the following:
In April 2018, the Belgian Gaming Commission published a report that was endorsed by the Belgian Ministry of Justice in which they concluded that paid loot boxes in Overwatch are considered gambling under local law. While we at Blizzard were surprised by this conclusion and do not share the same opinion, we have decided to comply with their interpretation of Belgian law. As a result, we have no choice but to implement measures that will prevent Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm players located in Belgium from purchasing in-game loot boxes and loot chests with real money and gems.
No matter what, we want to make sure that our players around the world have the best entertainment experience possible. While players in Belgium will no longer be able to purchase paid loot boxes in Overwatch and loot chests in Heroes of the Storm, they’ll still be able to earn them by playing the games, and they’ll still have access to all in-game content.
These measures will be implemented shortly. We also remain open to further discussions with the Belgian Gaming Commission and Ministry of Justice on this topic.
Since the article linked at the top of this article, the country most looking for loot box legislation is Australia. The Australian Senate launched an inquiry last June and we can expect to see the results soon. Meanwhile, the Netherlands is pushing for standardized loot box legislation across the entire European Union. If it were to pass, it would require major rethinking of current loot box systems.
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