Diablo Immortal won’t be released in Belgium or the Netherlands because of loot boxes

Immortal Diablo (opens in new tab) arrives later this week on mobile and, unexpectedly, PC, in an open beta that has been revealed in april (opens in new tab). Unless you like it in Belgium or the Netherlands, that is, in which case you won’t have access to the game – legitimately, at least.

The problem appears to be related to loot boxes and specifically the laws against them in these countries. dutch gaming site Settings (opens in new tab) (through Google translator (opens in new tab)) reported that a few days after pre-registration for Diablo Immortal was released on the App Store and Google Play, it was deactivated in Belgium and the Netherlands. An Activision Blizzard representative told the site that the removal was “related to current operating conditions for games in these countries”.

The issue was further clarified by a message shared on Diablo Immortal Subreddit (opens in new tab), purportedly from a Blizzard support agent. “Unfortunately, players in the Netherlands and Belgium will not be able to install Diablo Immortal due to country game restrictions,” he says. “The game’s loot boxes are against the law in your country, so unless the game restrictions change, the game will not be released in the Netherlands and Belgium.”

The message also warns that it is illegal for citizens of Belgium and the Netherlands to download the game from a different country, and even if you don’t get arrested for your mocking ways, you could be banned – although “in similar situations in the past where RNG loot boxes were against the law in certain countries, we don’t ban any players for that,” the rep added.

Belgium and the Netherlands have taken much stronger stances against loot boxes in video games than most other countries. In 2018, Valve disabled the ability to open CS:GO cases (opens in new tab) to comply with gambling regulations in those countries, and not long after that, Blizzard We removed Overwatch paid loot crates (opens in new tab) and Heroes of the Storm in Belgium. In 2020, Electronic Arts was hit with a €10 million fine ($10.8 million) (opens in new tab) about FIFA loot boxes in the Netherlands, although this decision was knocked down (opens in new tab) earlier this year. I’ve contacted Activision Blizzard for more information and will update if I get a response.

Thanks, game industry (opens in new tab).

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