Just last week, we reported on the news that the Netherlands declared some loot boxes to be in violation of the Gambling Act. Now, Belgium has stepped forward to give their ruling on these tedious microtransactions.
Originally reported by Eurogamer, The Belgian Gaming Commission took a look at several games to identify unethical practices in loot boxes. FIFA 18, CS:GO, Star Wars Battlefront 2, and Overwatch were all subject to review. Ironically, Battlefront 2 was the only game mentioned that didn’t violate Belgium’s gambling legislation. This follows EA removing them last fall after some harsh backlash from fans and critics. However, Overwatch, FIFA, and CS:GO are all games in which players pay for a “loot box” that grants them a random reward, because of this, they breach Belgian gambling laws.
Things get serious from there. Minister of Justice Koen Geens demands that these games remove their loot boxes, if the developers fail to comply, publishers could face up to five years in prison along with a fine of 800,000 euros.
One of Belgium’s major concern when looking at the issue was the way it affects the youth. "It is often children who come into contact with such systems and we cannot allow that,” said Geens when discussing the issue. In light of this, cases in which minors are involved could potentially see punishments get doubled.