Belgium pushes to ban loot boxes in Europe

James Marshall
November 22, 2017

A new perspective on loot boxes follows an intense week of controversy. The answer is yes.

The Minister of Justice has now revealed that "the mixing of money and addiction is considered gambling". This news comes hot on the heels of publisher Electronic Arts pulling the microtransactions until further notice, and the Belgian Gaming Commission announcing that it's launching an investigation of its own into loot boxes. Belgian Minister of Justice Koen Geens added, "Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is unsafe for the mental health of the child". However, with Europe taking action, the folks in the United States are far more likely to take action. "We will certainly try to ban it".

Defenders of loot boxes usually cite rising game development costs or a games-as-service model as reasons for their inclusion, or play them off as an innocuous option that is easy to ignore. With this decision, loot boxes have merely been put on notice and merely gives cause for the Gaming Commission to seek their banishment from Europe. Simply check back for updates.

The commission also investigated Overwatch which has a similar loot box-style monetization. Do you agree with the decision to ban them? However, they can also opt to buy loot boxes which significantly cost less credits but has a randomized chance of getting items.

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