Latest in Gaming

Image credit: Overwatch

Loot crates are now illegal in Belgium

Loot boxes in games like “Overwatch” are gambling, according to officials.
2368 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Overwatch

Officials in Belgium have determined that loot boxes violate the country's gambling laws and if publishers don't remove them from their games, they face jail time and fines. Specifically, FIFA 18, Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive were found to be in violation. While Star Wars Battlefront II was also part of the Belgian government's investigation, EA's removal of the game's loot boxes kept it from bumping up against the country's legislation. In a statement, Minister of Justice Koen Geens said that if loot boxes in the aforementioned games aren't removed, their publishers could be subject to up to five years in prison and a fine of up to €800,000 (approximately $974,926). If children are involved, those punishments could be doubled.

Last week, the Netherlands also decided that loot boxes in some games were essentially gambling and called for publishers to remove them by mid-June, while countries like the UK and New Zealand have declared that loot boxes aren't gambling. A number of US lawmakers have introduced bills regarding loot boxes, both to study them and restrict access to minors. Meanwhile, in response to the loot box controversy, the ESRB added an "In-Game Purchases" label to boxed games that have some sort of in-game purchase, including those with loot boxes.

Unlike the Netherlands, Belgium hasn't instituted a deadline for the changes it's calling for. Instead, Geens says he wants to start a dialogue between developers and the Gaming Commission.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
2368 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Motorola's revived RAZR is a fashion-forward foldable

Motorola's revived RAZR is a fashion-forward foldable

View
Mark Wahlberg is poised to join the 'Uncharted' movie

Mark Wahlberg is poised to join the 'Uncharted' movie

View
John Carmack takes a step back at Oculus to work on human-like AI

John Carmack takes a step back at Oculus to work on human-like AI

View
NASA renames Kuiper Belt object following controversy

NASA renames Kuiper Belt object following controversy

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr