Last week, it was reported that Star Wars Battlefront 2's controversial loot box system, and similar systems seen in other games like Overwatch, were being investigated by Belgium’s gaming commission. Now Belgium's gaming commission has announced its conclusion, and it has determined that loot boxes are gambling.
Belgium's decision to have loot boxes in video games considered gambling could have major ramifications on not just Star Wars Battlefront 2, but the industry as a whole. It will effectively restrict publishers' ability to sell games with loot boxes in the country, and if Belgium gets its way, the entirety of Europe.
As explained by Belgium's Minister of Justice Koen Geens:
"Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child."
Belgium's landmark decision to label loot boxes as gambling is a big deal, and may encourage other government entities to come to the same conclusion. After all, the Dutch Gaming Authority is currently running its own investigation into loot boxes, and there's a possibility it may very well agree with Belgium.
Similar investigations are being launched in other parts of the world as well. The state of Hawaii has recently announced its intention to investigate loot boxes, with the possibility of introducing legislation that would ban games with loot boxes from being sold to minors. And just like Belgium would like to see its stance on loot boxes expand to the rest of Europe, Hawaii has suggested that its potential loot box legislation could be adopted on a nationwide scale.
Whatever happens, it's clear that the Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot box controversy is going to have a major impact on the industry. If more government entities make the same determination as Belgium, many developers and publishers may have to make drastic changes to their games to avoid being labeled as gambling.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Source: Game Informer