2K and Blizzard remove microtransactions and lootboxes from their Belgian games to comply with laws

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Thanks to the new laws in Belgium, which have classified certain instances of lootboxes and microtransactions as "gambling", 2K Games and Blizzard have been forced to remove these from their games. Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, and NBA 2K have been affected, for the region of Belgium, due to the aforementioned legal decision. Both companies maintain that they do not agree with the ruling, but that they must forcefully comply. Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch no longer allow players to purchase lootboxes, while NBA 2K18 has partially removed MyTeam Packs, their form of lootboxes, though ingame currency can still be used to obtain them.

This follows similar changes made in games like CS:GO and FIFA 18 having to disable lootboxes for Belgian players. While not being considered as illegal, Forza Motorsport 7 and Shadow of War voluntarily removed their microtransactions worldwide as well.

:arrow: Source: Battle.net

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 Overwatchare considered gambling under local law. 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.

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Nitro-Gale

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The system is literally just paying money in order to have a chance of getting rare items, and they were surprised? It's gambling. I really hate lootboxes.
Here's my issue with this on top of the idea being extremely grubby.

For all we know, they could be rigging the system to make it more favorable that you spend more money on loot boxes to get what you want. Who's to say that the loot boxes themselves don't have something set up with them to provide low odds of getting whatever is classified as rarer items or whatever is classified as an equivalent in the game?

I'm pretty sure I read up somewhere about certain mobile platforms requiring to discloses the odds placed on their applications when it comes to loot boxes for mobile games or something to that tune.
 

deinonychus71

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Whats funny is that it won't fix anything.

These people in overwatch will still want the super nice new skins that their friends in other countries can get, and they will still not be happy.
 

kumikochan

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Whats funny is that it won't fix anything.

These people in overwatch will still want the super nice new skins that their friends in other countries can get, and they will still not be happy.
They still can, the info in the post is actually incorrect. Lootboxes are still a thing in overwatch, just the means to buy in game currency with real currency or buying a set amount of lootboxes with money have been removed. If someone can double check from Belgium please since I don't have the game installed anymore so I can't check right now
 
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FAST6191

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Wonder how they are determining region, and what languages they allow if they do. Had quite a few games restrict things I am normally used to seeing for free behind such things and would be nice to either see them back or gone from the menus.

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They still can, the info in the post is actually incorrect. Lootboxes are still a thing in overwatch, just the means to buy in game currency with real currency or buying a set amount of lootboxes with money have been removed. If someone can double check from Belgium please since I don't have the game installed anymore so I can't check right now
Are we making that distinction? I don't know that I have seen anybody make it before when it is effectively rendered an in game (random) reward, such as those which have existed for decades.
 
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deinonychus71

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They still can, the info in the post is actually incorrect. Lootboxes are still a thing in overwatch, just the means to buy in game currency with real currency or buying a set amount of lootboxes with money have been removed. If someone can double check from Belgium please since I don't have the game installed anymore so I can't check right now
so you only get lootboxes by leveling up now?

Yeah. No, it won't get people who are usually the target of these lootboxes any happier.
I would know, i have a gambling issue on another game :)
 

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so you only get lootboxes by leveling up now?

Yeah. No, it won't get people who are usually the target of these lootboxes any happier.
I would know, i have a gambling issue on another game :)
that's what i'm getting from their post they made.
''Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm players located in Belgium from purchasing in-game loot boxes and loot chests with real money and gems.''
They didn't say anything about removing loot boxes
 

deinonychus71

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that's what i'm getting from their post they made.
''Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm players located in Belgium from purchasing in-game loot boxes and loot chests with real money and gems.''
They didn't say anything about removing loot boxes

These laws don't treat the symptoms.
The ONLY reliable way to fix this is having the consumer as a whole stop financing this.
And have skins put back into the content as unlockable, like it was with older games.
Mind you I don't even know why would anyone prefer a overwatch over TF2 which has tons of content, or even UT2004 which has hundreds of gametypes available, thousands of maps, and no lootboxes.
Maybe I'm too old :) but I swear it looks like players want to get screwed anyway.
 

kumikochan

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These laws don't treat the symptoms.
The ONLY reliable way to fix this is having the consumer as a whole stop financing this.
And have skins put back into the content as unlockable, like it was with older games.
Mind you I don't even know why would anyone prefer a overwatch over TF2 which has tons of content, or even UT2004 which has hundreds of gametypes available, thousands of maps, and no lootboxes.
Maybe I'm too old :) but I swear it looks like players want to get screwed anyway.
it does tho. It puts it on the spot and shows companies they can't do as they please seeing other games removed their lootboxes. Example would be shadow of war etc.
 
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deinonychus71

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it does tho. It puts it on the spot and shows companies they can't do as they please seeing other games removed their lootboxes. Example would be shadow of war etc.

Shadow of War lootboxes were removed because of the backlash of the players and continuous bad press. Not because laws were changed.
This is just my opinion yes, but I do think legislators should not intervene in this. The players lobby is strong enough to change that.
 

kumikochan

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Shadow of War lootboxes were removed because of the backlash of the players and continuous bad press. Not because laws were changed.
This is just my opinion yes, but I do think legislators should not intervene in this. The players lobby is strong enough to change that.
I did not claim it was because of this. I'm saying that it all does make a difference in general. i'm atleast glad that my country intervened. it shows companies they're not above the law and should never ever think that they are just because they're a corporate power
 
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