Belgium and the Netherlands will be excluded from Blizzard’s next mobile and PC action RPG.
Unfortunately, residents of Belgium and the Netherlands who are looking forward to playing Diablo Immortal, Blizzard’s next free-to-play dungeon crawler that will be available on PC and mobile devices on June 2, will be disappointed. It turns out that Blizzard’s next action RPG will not be launched in any nation owing to local loot box rules.
Blizzard is unlikely to update the game anytime soon to comply with these local rules, leaving impacted users with little options.
Activision Blizzard has secretly modified its release plans for Diablo Immortal, as first reported by Dutch news site Tweakers. Due to rules and legislation in those countries, the free RPG will not be available in Belgium or the Netherlands. Due to “current operational conditions in certain regions,” a communications manager at the Call of Duty and Overwatch publisher confirmed to the site that the game will not be released on June 2 in those previously stated countries.
A gamer on the Diablo Immortal subreddit shared a letter from a Blizzard gamemaster that clarified that Immortal was skipping some nations due to anti-loot-box legislation.
The Blizzard staffer said, “The treasure boxes in the game are against the law in your nation.” “As a result, the game will not be launched in the Netherlands or Belgium until the gambling rules alter.”
The same staffer also stated that gamers might try to circumvent the limitation, but that doing so could result in a Blizzard ban.
Activision Blizzard was approached by Kotaku concerning Diablo Immortal’s loot boxes and release.
Blizzard apparently allowed people in Belgium and the Netherlands to pre-load the game ahead of time, thus aggravating the problem for gamers. According to Tweakers, users in these nations were able to pre-load the game after the release date was confirmed. However, the option was discreetly withdrawn a few days later.
Diablo Immortal isn’t the first game to be caught up in anti-loot box and gambling legislation in Europe.
Companies like EA have faced harsh sanctions in countries like the Netherlands and the United Kingdom for continuing to employ treasure boxes. Some publishers have avoided releasing games in specific areas as a result of the mounting demand on these purchased random crates.
Other businesses, such as Rockstar Games, have blocked specific gambling and in-game microtransaction elements depending on where you play. Some games, such as Fortnite and Rocket League, have totally overhauled or eliminated their loot boxes, which is a good thing given how much these in-app purchases and stores are coming to resemble casino slot machines, even in large $60 games.