Belgium Classifies Four Games' Loot Boxes As Gambling, Demands Their Removal
Following on the heels of the legal re-classification of loot boxes in The Netherlands, the Belgian Gaming Commission has brought down the banhammer on loot boxes in four games.
MMORPG.com has in part translated a statement from the Commission, saying that loot boxes in Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, FIFA 18, and Star Wars BattleFront 2 are illegal. They must be removed from those games or their makers will "risk a prison sentence up to 5 years and a fine of 800k Euro." The threat of prison time could be enough to force companies into action, since, as I noted when we first heard about Belgium potentially taking this action, 800,000 Euro would be a pittance to companies making millions off loot boxes.
EA removed BF2's paid loot boxes last month, which might have been prompted by this legislation, as well as the general fury surrounding loot boxes. As for Overwatch ... maybe I'm a bit biased, as a fan of the game, but since they have nothing game-altering in them, even in the slightest, I've never had a problem with them. Still, if they have to go, at least we have an idea of what the items currently found in them might cost.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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What matter to the government is that people actually spend hundreds if not thousands (evidence on Twitch streamers) on Loot Boxes just to get a specific item.
The amount of currency being spend is what matters to Real World.