By: Kyle James | 04-27-2018 | News
Photo credit: @GbrilliantQ | Twitter

Belgium Declares Gaming Loot Boxes Illegal

In a blow to the gaming industry in Belgium, randomized loot boxes have been deemed a form of gambling and outlawed as a result. After an extensive investigation into games such as Star Wars Battlefront II, FIFA 18, Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the Belgian Gaming Commission concluded that games' loot boxes were a form of gambling.

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">lootbox of my life, remember this bc this will probably never happen again lol <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PS4share</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Overwatch</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; (wheeze) (@audrey_cannibal) <a href="">April 18, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Related coverage: <a href="">EA Removes In-Game Purchases 24-Hours After Belgian Gambling Commission Announces Investigation</a>

The one game from that list that was not deemed unlawful was Star Wars Battlefront II, but this is only because fan backlash prompted developers to adjust the loot box model shortly after its release. The loot boxes in Star Wars Battlefront II were removed completely and replaced by cosmetic transactions. There is no element of chance involved in these new transactions since players can choose exactly what they would like to purchase.

Koen Geens, the Minister of Justice for Belgium, demanded game developers remove the loot boxes from the offending games. Geens said that younger players could be susceptible to what he calls "gambling advertising". He is now working with video game companies to negotiate the removal of loot boxes from offending titles.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">EA admits it &quot;got it wrong&quot; over Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot boxes <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Eurogamer (@eurogamer) <a href="">April 16, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Related coverage: <a href="">Analyst Cuts EA Profit Estimate Due To Poor Star Wars Battlefront 2 Sales</a>

Geens warned if the loot boxes were not removed from games upon request, the companies behind them will be in breach of Belgium's gaming legislation and could face a hefty prison sentence and/or fine. The legislation is causing other countries to consider changes to their laws to crack down on gambling in video games marketed to children.

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Twitter: #EA #LootBox #StarWars #Battlefront2 #Overwatch #Belgium #Blizzard

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4 Comment/s
Anonymous No. 24325 2018-04-27 : 10:44

woot woot

Anonymous No. 24381 2018-04-28 : 00:33

What Are Loot Boxes And Why Are They Being Banned?

Some of the non-gamers out there have been hearing much about loot boxes lately. Here's a quick explanation.

Loot boxes are grab bags place throughout video games that player must spend money (real or in-game) to open. The contents are unknown. In a broad sense of the definition, this could be considered gambling.

The Netherlands and Belguim thought so and recently banned them.

It all started back in 2016 with the game "Overwatch." The developer, Blizzard, placed boxes containing avatars, costumes and voice lines throughout the game. In this case, it didn't affect gameplay and was largely ignored.

Enter Star Wars Battlefront II where paying for items would indeed affect the play of the game. Some gamers became outraged, feeling as if the developers were gaming them.

So now the push is on to ban them altogether. It seems to me, as an outsider, that developers could "warn" gamers who, in turn, could choose not to buy that particular game.

Seems a little silly for entire countries to be making yet more laws over a digital box in a video game. Don't we have enough regulation?

Anonymous No. 24427 2018-04-28 : 09:04

Lootboxes is gambling, therefore it needs to follow gambling laws. It is as simple as that.

Anonymous No. 24428 2018-04-28 : 09:06


As long as mobsters are involved I'm okay with it

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