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Belgian officials say they'd like lootboxes banned, but investigation continues

Belgian officials say they'd like lootboxes banned, but investigation continues

November 21, 2017 | By Alex Wawro

After roughly a week of scrutiny, an official with the Belgian Gaming Commission has told local media outlet VTM that he would like to ban "loot crate" monetization schemes, though investigation reportedly continues [see update below] into whether such models qualify as gambling.

The report comes from a convoluted Google translation, but the gist is Belgian Minister of Justice Koen Greens told VTM that he would like to ban such systems from being implemented in games at all, both in Belgium and in Europe at large.

Although he called for the ban, the legal status of loot crates in Belgium are still to be determined. Last week, after Belgian Gaming Commission general director Peter Naessens told VTM the regulator would be scrutinizing loot box systems in games like Overwatch and Electronic Arts' Star Wars Battlefront II, an EA representative told GameSpot that "the crate mechanics of Star Wars Battlefront II are not gambling" because players can earn them through play and they're always guaranteed to give the player some sort of payout. 

Shortly thereafter, the Battlefront II team temporarily disabled all microtransaction opportunities in the game while they re-evaluate the game's progression and monetization systems.

Update: An earlier version of this article said Belgium's Gaming Commission definitively categorized "loot boxes" as gambling. A report from Radio Télévision Belge de la Communauté Française contradicts this statement and we updated the article. Apologies for the confusion.

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