It wasn’t long ago that the Belgian Gaming Commission investigated FIFA 18, Overwatch, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Star Wars Battlefront II to determine whether or not the games had gambling elements. All of the games except for Star Wars Battlefront II, due to post-launch adjustments, were labeled as games of chance. This was due to the fact that its a matter of chance whether a “bet” will lead to profit or loss for the player. As a follow up, an update was posted on Blizzard’s community forum explaining that loot boxes will no longer be available to purchase in its games in Belgium, but can still be earned by playing the games.
Below is Blizzard’s full statement:
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.
It’ll be interesting to see how this will impact gaming. In the past, we wondered what changes should be made to loot boxes in Overwatch. What do you think about this turn of events? Do you think loot boxes should be regulated in other countries as well?
[Source: Blizzard Forum]