Nintendo will see two of its most popular mobile titles shutting down in Belgium by the end of August as both Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes are exiting the area.
Nintendo of Belgium released a statement noting that the games will be ending service soon there due to the "unclear situation" in the country regarding loot boxes and other models of revenue streams when it comes to video games.
Vanwege de huidige onduidelijke situatie in België omtrent bepaalde verdienmodellen van games, zal de service voor Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp en Fire Emblem Heroes op 27 augustus 2019 in België worden stopgezet. https://t.co/8xvDHr0zkO— Nintendo België (@NintendoBE_NL) May 21, 2019
Both games will be shutting down on August 27 as a result, and according to Nintendo, any Nintendo titles with similar features like loot boxes and the like will no longer have a place in Belgium. This is all in response to a ruling by the Belgian Gaming Commission that loot boxes were illegal that passed in April 2018.
However, the games weren't shut down then and no overtures were made that the titles would blending service soon. However, other games like Star Wars Battlefront 2 were forced to get rid of their loot boxes and revenue models entirely in order to make sure they remained compliant with the new laws.
Right now, it appears only Belgium will be affected by the change, but with another Nintendo mobile game on the way with Mario Kart Tour, we it's possible this game may not even debut in Belgium if it includes similar types of monetization. Hopefully there's nothing that ends up happening in the States to jeopardize it coming to Western players either, because that would be exceedingly frustrating.
For now, Belgian gamers will have to say goodbye to two of Nintendo's most intriguing mobile entries. It remains to be seen how the rest of the industry around the world will be affected by the change, but it's an unfortunate decision either way to keep games out of the hands of the folks who want to play them.