Belgian Government has finally concluded their investigation on loot boxes in games like EA’s Star Wars Battlefront 2 and in Blizzard’s Overwatch and have declared that loot boxes in gaming are gambling and now they want to ban in it Europe.
Belgium News website VTM Nieuws(English translated version) is reporting that the Minister Of Justice will be soon moving forward to make game devs remove all the loot boxes from in the games. below is their statement
Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child.”
The ban will soon be in function in Belgium but the ministers wants to push it even further and get it banned in the whole of Europe and possibly make it effective globally.
because we have to go to Europe. We will certainly try to ban it.”
The issue of loot boxes was lingering for quite a while now in video games but it escalated when EA Star War Battlefront 2 brought a ridiculous loot boxes system where you pay $60 for the game and further if you don’t have time to grind the game you will have to pay to buy the locked heroic characters.
The issue became a huge news and was talked over by big news websites like CNN and CNBC. Belgian also started its investigation about it and have now classified it as gambling.
This will be a huge blow to publishers and games rating board who denied to classify loot boxes as gambling. major rating boards like UKIE, Pegi, and ESRB previously said loot boxes are not gambling as they don’t fit the gambling criteria.
During Blizzcon Blizzard CEO Micheal Morhaime said that there is nothing wrong with their lootboxes and it does belong in any controversy. but it seems like Belgium Government won’t agrees with his claims.
With this decision, it is most likely that rest of the countries will also label loot boxes in video games as gambling and most probably Major online games such as Dota 2, CS: GO, and League Of Legends will get affected by it too.