UPDATE, 9/25: ArenaNet has posted a brief statement to the Guild Wars 2 forums:
Update on the Purchase Status for Belgium
In order to conform to changes in Belgian law, purchases of gems, the Ultimate Edition, and the Ultimate Edition upgrade have been disabled for residents of Belgium. We are continuing to investigate more flexible solutions. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our players.
The Ultimate Editions include Gems as parts of their purchase, which explains why they’ve been caught up in the web.
While acknowledging the issue, there’s still no word on why such an extreme measure has been taken. In our reporting on the issues regarding Belgium and its anti-loot-box stance, Guild Wars 2 has never come up as a target of the Gaming Commission, and there are plenty of non-loot-box items available in the GW2 Gem Store. We have not yet received a response from ArenaNet regarding the situation and currently have only the forum post to go on.
Original story:As you probably know by now, Belgium is one country that’s coming down hard on loot boxes. It’s forced Blizzard to stop sales of them in Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch and might be going to court with EA.
In what could be related news, Guild Wars 2 players in Belgium are reporting an inability to purchase Gems, the game’s real-money currency. There are threads on both the forums and on Reddit complaining about the situation, which has apparently been an issue for four days now. ArenaNet hasn’t weighed in with any official word; we’ve reached out to the company for a comment and will update this piece when we learn more.
While GW2 does have its own version of loot boxes, Black Lion Chests, there are a lot of non-random things you can purchase with Gems in its store. If this were occurring in any other country, we’d chalk it up to a simple glitch, but given Belgium’s recent hard-line stance on loot boxes, we can’t totally rule out that this is related.