Diablo Immortal will not be released in Belgium and the Netherlands due to its use of loot boxes.
The game, which will be published on June 2 for iOS and Android devices and in open beta for PC, temporarily appeared for pre-download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store a few days ago. Still, little then disappeared without an official explanation.
As explained by an Activision Blizzard Benelux spokesperson to Tweakers, the reason is that “this is related to the current operating conditions for games in these countries.”
Despite not specifically naming the loot boxes, this is the reason why the game will not be published in both territories, as a Blizzard employee later confirmed on Reddit, explaining that “unfortunately players in the Netherlands and Belgium will not be able to install Diablo Immortal due to these countries’ restrictions on gambling.”
“Loot boxes,” he added, “don’t follow the law in your country, so unless the betting restrictions change, the game won’t be published in the Netherlands or Belgium.” In addition, this Blizzard employee warned that for the Dutch and Belgians, “it would be illegal to download the game in another country like France. If you manage to download the game, I cannot guarantee that you will not be banned for it.”
Loot boxes have been considered gambling in Belgium since April 2018, when the Belgian Gaming Agency designated them. The agency even recommended that companies continue to include them criminally prosecuted in their games. This meant that video games in Belgium do not have loot boxes or are not even sold in that country; for example, EA Sports does with FIFA (FIFA Points are not sold there).