Games With Loot Boxes Are Now Illegal in Belgium

first_imgStay on target Don’t Just Disclose Odds For Video Game Loot Boxes, Ban ThemWill This U.S. Senator’s Bill Finally Kill Video Game Loot Boxes? Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img Late last year, Belgium began investigating whether or not loot boxes in games like Overwatch and Star Wars: Battlefront II were a form of gambling. The country’s Gaming Commission believed these games were detrimental to players (especially children) because of the addictive nature of loot boxes. After several months of investigating, Belgium has declared games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, FIFA 18, and more illegal. This means publishers of these games can now be punished under criminal law.In a press release (translated by GameRevolution), Belgian Minister of Justice Koen Geens said the investigation began after the loot box fiasco surrounding Star Wars: Battlefront II. Overwatch, CS: GO, FIFA 18, and Battlefront II were four titles the Belgian Gaming Commission investigated. Geen said: “An interview with the sector is imminent. It is often children who come into contact with such systems and we can not allow that.”“Mixing games and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for mental health,” continued Geens. “We have already taken numerous measures to protect both minors and adults against the influence of, among other things, gambling advertising. That is why we must also ensure that children and adults are not confronted with games of chance when they are looking for fun in a video game.”One title that escaped the judgment of the Belgian Gaming Commission is Battlefront II. Thanks to all of the negative press surrounding the title prior to launch, EA removed loot boxes from the game. It did not have loot boxes when the investigation was underway.If the guilty publishers (in this case, Valve, EA, and Activision) do not remove loot boxes from these games, they can face a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to 800,000 euros. It is unclear how Belgium would enforce this new law given that they are dealing with gaming publishers, and not citizens of Belgium. We also don’t yet know how Valve, EA, and Activision will respond to this ruling.We now have to wonder if other countries will follow in Belgium’s footsteps. The Netherlands and Germany have already banned loot boxes in games. Even here in the states, there is a debate about what should be done about loot boxes. This could all be a moot point in the future considering how titles like Middle-Earth: Shadow of War and Star Wars: Battlefront II have already removed loot boxes. It is difficult to see publishers include loot boxes in any upcoming AAA game with the current climate.The debate about loot boxes won’t like die down any time soon. We’ll keep you updated on any developments as they arise.last_img read more

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