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Belgium's Gaming Commission declares loot boxes are gambling, wants them banned in Europe

PowerUp! - "Belgium’s Gaming Commission has been investigating whether loot boxes in video games constitute gambling. Today, we can report that the Gaming Commission has decided in the affirmative."

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chrisx19d ago (Edited 19d ago )

This is just awesome news. fcuk ea and corporate greed. A win for Gamers and hopefully more victories against this type of evil ahead.

thekhurg19d ago

Yep. Wish stuff like this would hit the US as well.

_-EDMIX-_19d ago

Well US defines gambling a little bit differently. I was listening to an IGN podcast and they were saying because you're actually getting something from those loot crate's the United States can't actually Define it as gambling because something is actually being received.

I think based on Disney likely not wanting to be linked to this controversy you're likely not going to see Electronic Arts continue this on Battlefront.

As for other game publishers, who knows I was reading earlier that Activision as like these crates for Call of Duty World War 2 where people could buy them with real money.

fiveby919d ago

This is great news. I live in the U.S. but I'm sorry I just don't agree with the ESRB's use of the legal definition of gambling. The dictionary definition is more appropriate to consumers.

Gambling - the activity or practice of playing at a game of chance for money or other stakes.

It's dishonest on EA and other publishers parts to use some supposed loophole of getting something of value which you perhaps didn't want at all as recourse for considering it not gambling.

badz14918d ago

Blizzard has been doing it differently in China. I can see similar things happening elsewhere if this becomes a law. if lootboxes are deemed as illegal, they will find another way to implement it.

tehpees318d ago (Edited 18d ago )

It will. When one leads the others follow. I've told you guys for quite some time that people need to stand against software laws as we can get them altered. It isn't a case of "entitled gamers". People need to stop that line and wake up. These multi-million dollar corporations are truthfully the entitled ones.

We call them out from our computers and they claim to monitor our feedback but they've never listened. Now they'll listen and they'll start saying how "its not fair" but you know what = it is. Anybody who is going along with the "entitled gamer" line is either being paid or is just a corporate sheep and should be ashamed of themselves.

These corporate suits DO get reincarnated into serious poverty problems in their next lifetime and anybody who stands and defends it will also get that payment because whether it is legally right it still isn't morally right. It is people with serious money and power abusing it. If you are among those people you are breaking moral laws and you will get paid back for that negatively one day. Its just a matter of time. just don't think to yourself "why me?" in your mid way next time because the chances are you are the reincarnation of Andrew Wilson. If you join him it is because you called out innocent buyers who had to put up with their tactics.

Karma effects everybody involved in this morally wrong corrupt market. Whether you are involved with this practice or defend it you will get paid back. So if you are defending this of your own free will just to insult somebody behind your computer you should think about what you are doing because karma has you in it's sight.

kyzer197818d ago

Nah Disney doesn't care about gambling. Think MGM grand in Las Vegas.

nitus1018d ago (Edited 18d ago )

@_-EDMIX-_

Here is a snippet of the US legal definition of gambling: https://definitions.uslegal...

"A person engages in gambling if he stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome."

Under that definition loot boxes are gambling. Of course, I am quite sure it can be spun in such a way that the opposite is true especially if you use legalese to define what "something of value" is.

UltraNova18d ago (Edited 18d ago )

Excellent news, now lets see how long it will take them to turn this decision into a EU law (if it reaches the parliament) and then how long it will take them to enforced it.

arkard18d ago

@Edmix of course is gambling. If I put a dollar in a slot machine and get a guaranteed penny back I'm not gambling? Someone should tell the casinos they'd be able to open up to kids.

Magnes18d ago

Are the card packs that you buy with random cards in it illegal in Europe?

rainslacker18d ago

If a publisher can't do it in the eu, then likely they wouldn't do a separate implementation elsewhere. They'll think of new ways to screw the customer over

ArmrdChaos18d ago

"Well US defines gambling a little bit differently. I was listening to an IGN podcast and they were saying because you're actually getting something from those loot crate's the United States can't actually Define it as gambling because something is actually being received."

This really is BS logic. The only way this would be true is if you were always guarantied to get something back you currently do not have. When someone spends money just to get back the same item he already has ten of then effectively he has received nothing. I have seen some models where you are re-credited for items you already have, but the credits you get back are always less than what you put in forcing you to buy more.

G3ng4r18d ago

As much work developers have to put into a modern aaa game these days I can see the price for them jumping a bit without pay to win bs. These aren't little ps2 games anymore. Not defending corporate greed but as games get bigger and sharper loot boxes were likely a way to compensate.

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 18d ago
-Foxtrot19d ago

Holy shit...this could start something.

Imagine an Overwatch where you just gain coins after a match in the future and everything is in a store menu you can select what to unlock. It would keep Blizzard on their toes and make them quicker in creating content.

Kind of funny since they are the ones who started this...how....poetic

Parasyte19d ago

Blizzard didn’t start the loot box trend. Call of Duty was doing it before Overwatch.

notachance19d ago

card-games with card-packs already started this long ago though

and most valve games been doing that since the start, TF2, CS:GO, Dota 2.. although they're cosmetic only, so pretty much no one cares because they didn't affect gameplay at all

it's EA with their hilarious full-priced pay-to-win shenanigans that stirs shit up for publishers lol

-Foxtrot19d ago Show
_-EDMIX-_19d ago

I was just about to say that Call of Duty actually did supply drops years before OverWatch release.

And to my understanding OverWatch crates are just cosmetic stuff

Testfire19d ago

@Foxtrot, CSGO popularized loot boxes well before Overwatch and there have been controversies tied with them and gambling for years already.

fiveby919d ago

I think you're right, the solution from publishers will be to remove the element of chance and just make it a store where you can buy what you want. If you want a game of chance in your game then don't bring real-world money into it or it's gambling.

Aenea18d ago

and then you can throw real money at it and buy those in-game coins!

also means people will probably spend less money, wonder what companies will do to recoup that lost income...

nitus1018d ago (Edited 18d ago )

@notachance

While I do agree on principle to what you said the main component of gambling is the "chance" of getting a particular item or items but not necessarily the ones you would like only after making a purchase.

You are quite right in pointing out the cosmetic nature of earlier loot boxes which IMHO are still a form of gambling but they are not "pay to win" (err. "Accelerated Experience" 😎) and on this many gamers are now drawing the line.

Other methods of purchase such as what you will find in microtransactions and in-game shops are not chance since you can see what you are buying.

Kosic18d ago

Nah, blizzard would just go the route of World of Warcraft and have the unique, sweet looking items behind a cosmetic pay wall/store.

Nothing in the gambling rules of having cosmetic dlc everywhere.

InTheZoneAC18d ago (Edited 18d ago )

How poetic? They started this? Smdh

If games remove the lottery rolls for loot boxes and allow you to directly buy cosmetics I guarantee you each tier will be even more expensive than it is now. I actually like overwatch's system, I just don't support whales who dish out money on every event hoping to get everything.

mochachino18d ago (Edited 18d ago )

The less money Blizzard gets from the whales spending on loot boxes just means less free content for the people that were not spending anything on loot boxes and riding on the backs of whales who funded the devs to support the game long term.

Your're more likely to get more sequels requiring that you spend another $60 instead of more support and content for the original game.

Cosmetic loot boxes only are good thing if you want your original purchase to be relevant for years. A small number of people fund your free content.

Malacath18d ago (Edited 18d ago )

More likely you wouldn't get games like overwatch any more. GTA Online would probably be shut down, Free to play games would either switch to a subscription model or shut down.

Seriously it astounds me how no one seems to realise that servers cost money to run. Multiplayer only games that keep getting updated just wouldn't exist if it wasn't for microtransactions. Games like GTA online would have it's shark cards system banned so development on the game would stop and servers would get shut down.

If you don't like microtransactions ignore them. You can still play the game without buying a single lootcrate, sharkcard or whatever other variation of them there is. You'll know what I mean when people are complaining their favourite multiplayer games are getting shut down due to lack of money

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 18d ago
Mikey9419d ago

Well remember its not just EA and to be fair Activision started loot crates before anyone everyone else just jumped on board cause they saw the money they were making by robbing people.

mkis00719d ago

Well they could just raise the standard price of games by 50, or institute subs for all games go get around ..... I don't think this is going to end up favorably...

Testfire19d ago

Yep, fuck EA, Activision, Blizzard, Valve, MS and anyone else who puts these in games

threefootwang18d ago

Forgot Sony as well...but I'm sure that was accidental of course 😉

Testfire18d ago

Why would that not be accidental? I'm not aware of any PS games with loot boxes.

UCForce18d ago (Edited 18d ago )

@threefootwang True, but you just defending MS more than ever. After all, Sony,MS and probably Nintendo and major third publishers will have to learn not to mess with consumers. @Testfire Well, PS games like Uncharted 4 MP have MT but it isn’t that lot. And yes, I did read John Kodera is the new CEO of SIE will explore more about MT. But like I said, recent events like EA Battlefront 2 MT fiasco, this will cause Sony, MS and others major publishers will think twice about messing up with consumers.

threefootwang18d ago

"defending MS more then ever?"

Lol please UCForce, get real.

I'm simply stating that Sony is also responsible for this, and to not include them would incite a bias against the other companies, while they continue to look innocent...which would just be crazy on N4G of all sites lol.

You can accuse me of "defending" MS, but the truth is you've been here much longer then I have and you've spent way more time then I have defending Sony.

Liqu1d18d ago

@threefootwang

Who cares who he forgot? His point was clear so stop being so sensitive just because he brought up MS.

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ZeroX987618d ago

As much as I hate micro-transactions, we know what's coming next. They'll want more money for their games for sure to cover for the loss in MT.

increase game price is on the way if this passes.

InTheZoneAC18d ago

Loot boxes only maximize profits, which are plentiful regardless. Games will continue to be sold at $60 or they won't sell at all.

jrshankill18d ago

Well, we have you crybabies to thank when software prices hike up. Thanks.

Krysis18d ago

While I agree with your sentiment and this is a victory, what scares me is this leads the way to government bodies meddling in the gaming industry and that's not what any of us want.

mochachino18d ago

Well there goes all the long term free Overwatch content. Get ready for annual sequels in everything and more paid DLC.

Malacath18d ago

You wont be saying that when your favourite online games whether free or paid for stop receiving updates or get servers shut down because no more money will be coming in.

It astounds me how a high proportion of the gaming community think that gaming is some sort of charity and that developers spend millions developing games and running servers to get nothing back.

If you don't like lootcrates don't buy them but people who do buy them are keeping the servers running for some of their favourite games.

CyberSentinel18d ago

Don’t celebrate just yet, EA has plenty of options, they could raise game prices or release games through a digital distribution only model.

They could even do a combination of both, digital games $60 (with a one week early exclusive access incentive) or a “limited” (pre-order only) physical release for $100+

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OnionThief19d ago

Finally we're seeing a step in the right direction for the industry. Maybe one day we can go back to the days where the price you paid for the title offered you the full experience without having to pay any additional installments.

NotoriousWhiz19d ago

Yep. One price. You get the whole game. No more free updates aside from bug fixes. I'm okay with that.

jrshankill18d ago

It will never happen, and if it does, you will pay more for the base game.

OnionThief18d ago

@jrshankill But it does happen. Mario Odyssey released with no season pass, no DLC, no microtransactions and even the amiibo content could be unlocked for in game currency after beating the story...

arkard18d ago

@jrshan they can charge more, doesn't mean I have to buy it. I have no problem waiting till something reaches a reasonable price to buy it.

XisThatKid18d ago

@OnionTheif that's probably because they were preparing that to be the last Mario game on a dedicated Nintendo console. The content and quality and timing screams "we may not be able to do this ever again".

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Geeeebeeee19d ago (Edited 19d ago )

bravo Belgium! it's HQ for the EU, hopefully it'll get implemented in the rest of the EU. but looks like UK gonna implement later.

for south east asia... hmmm... i think i'll write to the religious authorities :p

Juvia18d ago

Juvia agrees. This is absolutely a step in the right direction.

XiNatsuDragnel18d ago

Juvia why aren't you with Gray? Yes all wins is you need.

XisThatKid18d ago

Juvia you should come over without Gray.

XiNatsuDragnel18d ago

Xikid

Dang man about to tap!?!?

18d ago