Belgium Says Battlefront II-Style Loot Boxes Are Gambling, Wants Them Banned in Europe
In recent days, the controversy surrounding loot boxes and microtransactions has been on everyone’s lips, especially after the problems that engulfed Electronic Arts and the presence of this monetization model in Star Wars: Battlefront II.
Amidst all the criticism, the Belgian Gaming Commission initiated an investigation into these loot boxes and analyzed their operation in Star Wars: Battlefront II and Overwatch to determine if they can be considered as gambling and the government entity has already reached a conclusion.
Recently VTM News reported that the Belgian Gaming Commission has determined that the loot boxes present in the video games are gambling and will have to be governed according to the legal framework of the country in that area.
Koen Geens, Minister of Justice of Belgium, stated that the Gaming Commission investigation concluded that there are sufficient elements to consider the loot boxes as gambling, one of which is the mix of transactions with real money and the addictive potential. In that sense, Geens said: “Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child.”
At the same time, the Minister of Justice reported that all types of products involving loot boxes and not informing consumers that they are gambling will be banned in Belgium and will seek to extend the measure throughout Europe, although he acknowledged that it will take time. This decision comes a few days after EA responded to the Belgian government’s investigation, claiming that its model of loot boxes cannot be considered as gambling.
A report by PlayStationLifeStyle indicates that the Belgian government’s initiative already had an impact in the Netherlands and the Gambling Commission of that country announced that it will initiate an investigation to determine if the loot boxes can be considered as gambling and will take as a base what happened with Star Wars: Battlefront II.
What do you think about the decision of the Belgian government? Do you think that loot boxes are gambling? Let us know about your opinion in the comments below.