Blizzard will not release Diablo Immortal in countries with loot box laws

Don’t expect to play Diablo immortal in the Netherlands when it launches this week. GamesIndustry.biz and tweaker learned Blizzard will not release the free-to-play game in Belgium or the Netherlands due to their “gambling restrictions” – that is, their legislation banning loot boxes. It will also be illegal for people in those countries to download them from other regions, and Blizzard’s support team warned that it couldn’t guarantee players in the affected countries would avoid bans.

Belgium and the Netherlands found in 2018 that some loot boxes, particularly those you can buy or exchange for real money, constitute gambling. Diablo immortal hides access to his best stat-boosting items, like some legendary gems, behind legendary crests that are often easier to obtain with real currency. While the items you receive are frequently good (to the point where some have argued they are unfair), the attributes are random. That could theoretically force players to pay in hopes of the “perfect” crest and could attract people with addictive personalities.

Blizzard stopped selling loot boxes for other games in Belgium after the country cracked down on the practice. The company isn’t unique either. EA, Konami, Nintendo and Epic’s Psyonix have all retired games to avoid violating anti-loot box laws. Nevertheless, it is noticeable that Blizzard would rather withdraw Diablo immortal from these countries than to change the game mechanics.

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