Blizzard Entertainment has announced that real-money loot boxes have been removed from the Belgian territories in both online shooter Overwatch and MOBA Heroes of the Storm, effective immediately.
The decision is made in compliance with the Belgian Gaming Commission’s April report that recognises paid loot boxes as a form of gambling. In a statement, Blizzard made clear that they do not agree with the ruling, but have removed the ability to pay for loot boxes in said games, in line with “their interpretation” of the law.
“In April 2018, the Belgian Gaming Commission published a report that was endorsed by the Belgian Ministry of Justice in which they concluded that paid loot boxes in Overwatch are considered gambling under local law”. said an company statement. “While we at Blizzard were surprised by this conclusion and do not share the same opinion, we have decided to comply with their interpretation of Belgian law. As a result, we have no choice but to implement measures that will prevent Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm players located in Belgium from purchasing in-game loot boxes and loot chests with real money and gems.”
Players can still earn loot boxes through acts such as leveling up, or purchasing via in-game currency. This news obviously comes hot on the heels of the announcement by 2K Games that card packs will no longer be purchasable in NBA 2K titles in the same territory.