Video game loot boxes are often considered to be the best part of online competitive games. Loot-boxes contain special in-game items, some of those items are very rare and even expensive. However, that’s not the whole case because loot-boxes are regulated under gambling law in some countries due to the nature of loot-boxes which makes absurd financial profits for the gaming companies, regardless of their function.
The Belgian Gaming Commission explained their concern over games that draw players with a “psychological profit forecast” of randomized in-game items, where players “buy an advantage with real hard earned money without even knowing the fact that what benefit it would give.”
The Belgian Gaming Commission has governed after a preparatory investigation that loot boxes in most games such as Overwatch, FIFA 18, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive — are considered games of chance that are subject to Belgian gaming law.
As the statement from Belgian Minister of Justice Koen Geens states, the games currently include criminal violations of Belgium’s gaming legislation and developers be subject to prison sentences of up-to five years and fines upto 800,000 euros if the loot boxes won’t be removed.
The statement also mentioned that “Paying loot boxes are not an innocent part of video games that present themselves as games of skill,” Gaming Commission Director Peter Naessens added in a statement. “Players are tempted and misled, and none of the protective measures for gambling are applied.”
Inevitably the news came after Netherlands issued a similar ruling, declaring four games as games of chance and giving developers until June 20th to change or remove the loot boxes. If failed to do so the games will be permanently banned from the countries.