It’s safe to say that paid loot boxes are a pretty controversial issue. The idea that you can spend upwards of 60 dollars for loot boxes with no guarantee you will be getting whatever it is you are looking for is rightfully seen as a scam by many people. Now, it seems like Belgium law is taking things to the next level. Back in April, Belgium’s Gambling Commission officially ruled that the loot boxes that players can purchase in Overwatch and other games are a violation of Belgium’s gambling regulations.
Blizzard responded with a statement saying, “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 Belgium 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. While players in Belgium will no longer be able to purchase paid loot boxes in Overwatch and loot chests in Heroes of the Storm, they’ll still be able to earn them by playing the games, and they’ll still have access to all in-game content.” This official ruling, along with Blizzard’s swiftness to comply, sets a very interesting precedent for the rest of the world. We are now at a point where we have to consider whether or not the popular practice of paid loot boxes is in fact gambling and is that okay for players especially those under 18/21 to be partaking in. To be fair Belgium is VERY strict when it comes to gambling in fact, it’s even illegal to host a poker game for money in your own home between friends. With that in consideration, it might just be that Belgium really hates gambling and this type of legislation won’t pick up steam anywhere else. But hey, if your gamer and you hate paid loot boxes THAT much might as well give calling it illegal gambling a shot and having it shut down.