Blizzard removes paid loot boxes from Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm in Belgium

The fallout from European loot box rulings continued over the weekend as Blizzard announced that it is removing paid loot boxes and chests from Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm players in Belgium. The country's Gambling Commission ruled in April that the loot boxes available for purchase in Overwatch and other games contravene Belgium's gambling regulations. 

"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," Blizzard said in a statement. "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."

"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." 

A specific date for the removal of paid loot boxes wasn't revealed, but Blizzard said it would happen "shortly." It also indicated that it is willing to discuss the matter further with the appropriate authorities, leaving the door open to a possible return of paid loot boxes in the future. I've reached out to Blizzard to ask if any progress has been made on that front, and will update if I receive a reply. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.