Overwatch Loot Boxes Removed in Belgium

Zac Cameron,

August 30, 2018 3:41 PM

Belgian Overwatch players can no longer purchase loot boxes, and Heroes of the Storm players might soon follow.

It looks like Overwatch players and fans from Belgium will no longer be able to purchase loot boxes in game, thanks to a ruling earlier this year. In April, the Belgian Gaming Commission ruled that loot boxes should be considered gambling and gave several game developers time to either make amends or remove the loot boxes.

In an announcement post on the Overwatch Forums, Blizzard Community Manager Vaneras posted that the company would be taking steps to remove the ability for Belgian players to purchase loot boxes.

Loot boxes will still remain in the game, however they will not be purchasable
Loot boxes will still remain in the game, however they will not be purchasable

“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. 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.

No matter what, we want to make sure that our players around the world have the best entertainment experience possible. 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.

These measures will be implemented shortly. We also remain open to further discussions with the Belgian Gaming Commission and Ministry of Justice on this topic.”

Previously, the Belgian Gaming Commission has indicated that while they will allow some time for game developers to fix the problems, the changes will have to be made if the companies wish to avoid fines or prosecution. “We are going to take all preparatory measures for the drafting of police reports, but it's not going to be tomorrow,” stated Belgian Gaming Commission Director Peter Naessens. “There is a certain amount of time for the minister of justice, but it's not unlimited.”



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