‘Diablo Immortal’ can’t launch in two countries, apparently due to loot boxes

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Diablo Immortal will launch in most regions this week on Thursday, June 2, but it won’t include two specific countries, likely due to the game’s use of loot boxes.

Dutch outlet Tweakers, via GamesIndustry.biz, reports that an Activision Blizzard community manager has confirmed that Diablo Immortal will not launch on mobile or PC in the Netherlands and Belgium on June 2 as planned due to “conditions operating conditions in these countries.”

What are these operating conditions? A post on the Diablo Immortal subreddit from a Blizzard employee seems to explain:

“The game’s loot boxes are against the law of your country, so unless the game restrictions change, the game will not be released in the Netherlands and Belgium.” The poster also warns that if players run the game, they could end up getting banned for doing so.

Previously, registrations for these regions were live, but were eventually removed. Belgium and the Netherlands have strict loot box legislation in place which has already caused a number of other companies like EA and Konami to stop selling them there.

Diablo Immortal was originally developed with the Asian market in mind, a place that is often at odds with increasingly strict European laws regarding gambling via loot boxes, where loot boxes and Gacha titles are exceptionally common and are an integral part of the most popular games. mobile games.

We haven’t yet seen the full implementation of how loot boxes will work across all areas of the game, but if poorly implemented (i.e., play your way to the power), this could be a big turndown for Western gamers in particular who may otherwise be interested in the game.

Blizzard has been one of the last bastions of loot box sales in the West, whether with Overwatch cosmetic boxes or the basis of a collectible card game like Hearthstone, where its card packs are boxes by definition. to loot in a way. I can’t say I’m shocked that Diablo Immortal mobile has them, but given how promising the game looks, it would be such a shame if it were ruined by using them.

While it’s possible that a loot box-less version of the game will go live later in Belgium and the Netherlands, it’s clearly not high enough priority to get this ready for launch. . We’ll have to see what happens after June 2 there.

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