An Activision Blizzard employee has confirmed that the new action RPG Diablo Immortal will not be released in Belgium and the Netherlands. The reason for this is the strict laws regarding loot boxes in both countries. The release on PC, iOS and Android is on June 2nd.
In many countries, not only in Europe, states are taking action against the exploitation of players in video games. Belgium and the Netherlands are pioneers in Europe and have enacted laws against loot boxes that are too violent.
The games are then considered “gambling” and are treated accordingly.
In order to circumvent the strict laws in the two countries, those responsible at Activision Blizzard have now decided to omit Belgium and the Netherlands completely. Diablo Immortal will not appear in either country.
Everything about the release of Diablo Immortal on June 2nd can be found in our info hub:
Everything you need to know about Diablo Immortal – release, cost, gameplay
“This is due to the current operating conditions”
Why doesn’t the game appear? The laws of the two EU countries are much stricter than the German ones when it comes to loot boxes. In Belgium, for example, you need a state license to gamble, similar to Germany.
Failure to do so may result in heavy fines (via kotaku.com).
A spokesman for Activision Blizzard told Dutch site tweakers: “This is due to the current operating conditions for games in these countries” (via tweakers.net).
A post by a game master from Blizzard is also circulating on reddit, who explicitly says it is about the loot boxes in the game. If the rules for gambling in the countries do not change, no release is expected in Belgium and the Netherlands (via reddit.com).
This also fits with the increased Pay2Win allegations of recent times:
Diablo Immortal: YouTuber reveals how “crass Pay2Win” Blizzard’s new game is
It is not yet entirely clear what the Diablo Immortal shop will look like when it is released on June 2nd. But at least for the time being, one would like to avoid risking a rating as “gambling”.
The MMORPG Lost Ark was even banned in both countries when it was released. At the time, we spoke to a lawyer about whether something like this could also happen in Germany:
Could the MMORPG Lost Ark also be banned in Germany? We asked a lawyer
We will probably only see after the release whether Activision Blizzard is just being careful here or whether the gambling mechanics are actually fully effective.
In an interview with MeinMMO, those responsible have already reacted to the Pay2Win criticism: Diablo Immortal bosses are reacting to Pay2Win allegations from the largest MMORPG YouTuber
We would also be happy to read your thoughts on Pay2Win in Diablo Immoratal. Please leave us a comment.