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A new report by loot box researcher Leon Y. Xiao points out that Belgium’s loot box law banning the sale of random microtransaction crates in games has not been properly enforced, with most successful games in European countries still implementing the system.

According to reports GamesIndustry.bizThe study, published by Xiao on July 28, found that 82 of the 100 highest-grossing iPhone games in Belgium in May 2022 included a loot box feature. This is despite the Belgian Gaming Commission recommending criminal prosecution for the use of illegal loot boxes in 2018.

Shaw’s report Said the law could easily be circumvented by many different measures. For example, the report states that in the case of Roblox, its publisher “has not explicitly requested a ban on the purchase of user-generated loot chests in Belgium.”

The laws have led some developers to remove loot boxes from their games in Belgium, including EA’s FIFA series, Valve’s Dota 2 and CS:GO, and Psyonix’s Rocket League. The most notable of the games affected recently was Diablo Immortal, where Activision Blizzard didn’t release its mobile and PC crossover RPG in Belgium or the Netherlands after concerns over its loot-like old Rift system.

The study highlights the “negative consequences” of the ban not being enforced, such as creating a false sense of security. “The Belgian Gaming Commission gave video game consumers (including parents of children and young players) the false impression that Belgian players could now safely stay away from loot boxes,” Shaw said, “when they were still widely available for purchase.

The report also criticized the commission’s report, saying “it failed to monitor whether its ‘ban’ was in effect.” In addition, it noted that this had resulted in increased revenue for “non-compliant companies” whose games had been allowed to “replace” Games that have been removed from the national market by more socially responsible companies”.

It was recently reported that Diablo Immortal’s microtransactions have raised more than $100 million in payouts for players on the mobile version alone since the game’s launch. A recent report by the Norwegian Consumer Council said that in games such as FIFA 22, players were “manipulated” to spend money through loot boxes. Meanwhile, the UK government is considering loot box legislation aimed at protecting children from such models of monetization.

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