Belgium: loot boxes paid in games like Overwatch are illegal | News and opinion



The country's gaming commission said that three games, including Overwatch, had to eliminate the paid loot or face penalties.


  Overwatch

Belgium is not fan of booties. The country's gaming commission has declared that they can be a way to gamble, making them illegal.

At least three games, Overwatch, FIFA 18 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, are violating the country's gambling laws by incorporating paid booties, the Belgian Gaming Commission said on Wednesday.

According to the commission, paid booty boxes are essentially a game of chance. The players who buy them can receive a valuable virtual object, or something useless. The problem is that children, one of the main audiences of these games, may end up buying booties, which has worried the commission and helped boost its investigation.

The commission said that the developers behind the three games should eliminate paid loot boxes or face possible penalties. Punishments can include a five-year prison sentence for gambling operators and a fine of up to 800,000 euros ($ 973,000).

"When minors are involved, these punishments can double," the commission added.

Belgium is the last country to take strong action against booty. Last week, a Dutch regulator issued a similar ruling and demanded that four games be modified or eliminated by mid-June.

The Belgian gaming commission started investigating booties when the game Star Wars: Battlefront II sparked a lot of controversy. about the way he implemented them. Critics called the loot elements elements of "pay to win" that gave buyers an unfair advantage over other players who did not pay them. In response, Electronic Arts later released the game's spoils.

In a statement, Belgian Justice Minister Koen Geens said he wants to start a dialogue with game developers on the subject. So far, the editors of the three games have not commented on Belgium's decision. For players who do not like booties, PCMag has a guide on several great titles without them.

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