Report Says Belgium’s Loot Box Laws Have Been Ineffective

A new report from loot box researcher Leon Y. Xiao claims that Belgium’s loot box laws prohibiting the sale of random microtransaction boxes in games have not been properly enforced, with most successful games among the available in the European country still implement the systems. .

As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, the study, published by Xiao on July 28, found that 82 of the 100 highest-grossing Belgian iPhone games in May 2022 contained loot box features. This is despite a recommendation from the Belgian Gaming Commission in 2018 for criminal prosecution for the use of illegal loot boxes.

Xiao’s report says the law has been easily circumvented by a number of different measures. As an example, the report states that in the case of Roblox, its publisher “did not explicitly require that user-generated loot boxes be blocked from purchase in Belgium.”

These laws have caused some developers to remove loot boxes from their titles in Belgium, including EA’s FIFA series, Valve’s Dota 2 and CS:GO, and Psyonix’s Rocket League. Among the most notable games recently affected is Diablo Immortal, with Activision Blizzard not releasing its crossover RPG for mobile and PC in Belgium or the Netherlands due to concerns about its loot box-like elder rift system. .

The study emphasized the “negative consequences” of not enforcing the ban, such as creating a false sense of security. Xiao says “the Belgian Gaming Commission gave video game consumers (including children and parents of young gamers) the false impression that Belgian gamers are now safe from loot boxes,” when they are still widely available. for your purchase.

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The report also criticizes the commission’s reporting, saying it “has failed to monitor whether its ‘ban’ has been effective.” In addition, he points out that this has caused an increase in income for “companies that do not comply” whose games have been allowed to “replace games that have been withdrawn from the national market by more socially responsible companies.”

It was recently reported that Diablo Immortal’s microtransactions have raked in over $100 million in player spending on mobile versions alone since the game was released. A recent report from the Norwegian Consumer Council says gamers are “manipulated” into spending money via loot boxes in games like FIFA 22. Meanwhile, the UK government is considering loot box legislation aimed at protecting players. children of such models of monetization.

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