Specifically, according to a story posted by Gamespot
(via VTM News
), they're looking into the loot boxes for Overwatch and Star Wars: Battlefront II
given the random nature of their content, which may fall under the requirement for a special permit for games of chance in the country.
According to a handful of reports around the investigation, the reason is that the Belgium Gaming Commission's charter
specifically outlines games of chance as not like any other kind of economy and that their very existence can "cause people to become addicted to gambling and cause them to lose a great deal of money".
The loot boxes in Star Wars: Battlefront II, as we've mentioned in our in-depth review
, do have game-changing affects for general gameplay, however, Overwatch's loot drops don't follow any sort of pay-to-win model, which may affect the outcome of Blizzard's massive title at the conclusion of the investigation. If found in breach of the charter, both Blizzard and Electronic Arts could face major fines or, worse still, the removal of their games from sale in Belgium altogether.
This does raise a lot of questions around games, competitive multiplayer gaming and feature creep on the whole. It'll be interesting to see if there's a precedent set here, and if other territories jump on board. Especially when tying the
practice to premium products punters already pay full retail price for.
What do you reckon about all of this?