The war on loot boxes has been a messy one, with governments all over the world constructing cases against the video game industry following the release of Star Wars Battlefront 2. After being ruled that loot boxes are gambling in Belgium back in November Blizzard has removed the ability to purchase them in Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm despite the company’s disagreement on the matter.

Players can still earn loot boxes through gameplay progression but obtaining in-game currency using real-world currency has been disabled.

In April 2018, the Belgian Gaming Commission published a report that was endorsed by the Belgian Ministry of Justice in which they concluded that paid loot boxes in Overwatch are considered gambling under local law. While we at Blizzard were surprised by this conclusion and do not share the same opinion, we have decided to comply with their interpretation of Belgian law. As a result, we have no choice but to implement measures that will prevent Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm players located in Belgium from purchasing in-game loot boxes and loot chests with real money and gems.

No matter what, we want to make sure that our players around the world have the best entertainment experience possible. While players in Belgium will no longer be able to purchase paid loot boxes in Overwatch and loot chests in Heroes of the Storm, they’ll still be able to earn them by playing the games, and they’ll still have access to all in-game content.

These measures will be implemented shortly. We also remain open to further discussions with the Belgian Gaming Commission and Ministry of Justice on this topic.

Overwatch is now available for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. Heroes of the Storm is now available for PC.