After the dumpster fire that was Star Wars Battlefront II’s launch the Belgium Gaming Commission announced they would be looking into loot boxes. Ultimately they wanted to decide whether or not they should considered the crates gambling. Turns out a quick decision was made by the group this week as reported by PC Gamer. The short answer is yes, loot boxes are gambling, an opinion several members of the NerdLifeTX staff share.
Via a loosely translated statement it appears the Commission states that “The mixing of money and addiction is gambling”. This could mark the first blow of a war brewing against the loot box system between the gaming industry and the inevitable government regulations. According to the law in Belgium “games of chance” require a permit from the Gaming Commission. Per the article the Belgium Minister of Justice suggested they would try to ban the boxes.
Earlier in the week EA released the following statement via GameSpot defending the loot box system after the announcement was made Belgium would begin the investigation.
Creating a fair and fun game experience is of critical importance to EA. The crate mechanics of Star Wars Battlefront II are not gambling. A player’s ability to succeed in the game is not dependent on purchasing crates. Players can also earn crates through playing the game and not spending any money at all. Once obtained, players are always guaranteed to receive content that can be used in game.
With the holiday rush ramping up and EA’s stock starting to dip its hard to say what the future of the industry and the loot box mechanic will be. The stance here at NerdLifeTX is and has always been if you want to play a game that utilizes mechanics you don’t agree with buy it used. This way you can experience the game without supporting the poor behavior of the publisher. As news continues to break on the story we will be sure to post updates. Make sure you follow us on social media or check back on the site regularly to stay up on the latest news.