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Soon in Belgium: Blizzard stops lootboxes in Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm

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https://nos.nl/artikel/2247812-gameproducent-blizzard-stopt-in-belgie-met-loot-boxes.html

 

Game developer Blizzard stops in Belgium in the short term with the sale of loot boxes in the
popular games Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard does so in response to a judgment by
the Belgian Gaming Commission that, like the Dutch Gaming Authority, thinks that the digital
treasuries are against the rules of chance. Players can buy loot boxes to get new items, such as

clothing or weapons. Buyers do not know in advance what exactly is in the boxes. As a result, the

Gaming Commission sees it as gambling. To get rare items, they usually have to buy a lot of

treasure boxes. Although it is impossible to buy loot boxes with real money, Blizzard wants the

Belgian gamers to buy the boxes with points they earn in the game. The measure does not apply

to Dutch players of Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm.


Surprised

Blizzard says to be surprised by the conclusion of the Belgian Gaming Commission and does not
share the views on the loot boxes. Despite this, Blizzard sees no other solution than "to follow
this interpretation of Belgian law". The company does, however, like to enter into a dialogue
with the Belgian committee and the Ministry of Justice. The Dutch Gaming Authority previously

ruled that the treasuries were designed as gambling games, with sound effects and visual stimuli

that encourage them to continue playing after opening and to buy more boxes. The rewards can also

often be traded for real money, which gives them an economic value according to the games of

chance authority. That is also against the rules of chance.

In June research showed that different game companies did not comply with the requirement to
extract addictive elements from their games. Earlier this week it became known that the NBA 2K
basketball games make it impossible in the Netherlands and Belgium to sell real money loot boxes
or trade their contents.

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