Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Battlefront & Overwatch's Loot Boxes Under Investigation In Belgium

Belgian website VTM is reporting that the country’s Gaming Commission is currently taking a look at loot boxes in video games, with particular focus on EA’s inclusion of them in Star Wars: Battlefront II and Blizzard’s use in Overwatch.

Advertisement

Peter Naessens, General Director of the commission, says that the practice of buying the add-on boxes—where you don’t know what you’re paying for until you open it—may constitute gambling.

It’s a particular concern for the Commission when the game is available for and marketed towards children, like Overwatch and Battlefront II are (in Europe both titles have a PEGI rating of 12).

Advertisement

Naessens says loot box systems can be a particular danger to minors because of the societal pressure to spend more money to (in Battlefront’s case, at least) boost their strength. VTM reports that if loot boxes were indeed found to be a form of gambling then the Gaming Commission would need to provide a permit (it’s illegal to operate a gambling business in Belgium without one).

An investigation could also lead to a fine of “up to hundreds of thousands of Euros” and the game being taken off shelves in Belgium. It would also presumably set a precedent that would affect any other publisher operating similar business practices.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

I hope they don’t waffle on their decision.