July 6, 2022

Blizzard to remove microtransactions and lootboxes from Overwatch

Over the past year gaming has been in the mainstream news a lot due to discussions on micro transactions and loot boxes.  These transactions have always been an issue for gamers.  The release of EA’s Star Wars Battlefront brought the issue to the forefront again.  In Battlefront it was not just cosmetic items but key weapons and characters that were available.  This meant players could buy their way to a win instead of grinding like those who couldn’t.

With the uproar caused by gamers, government agencies like the Belgium Gaming Commission couldn’t help but take notice.  Earlier this year they ruled that loot boxes are gambling whether free or not.  A number of games were named in the ruling and Blizzard’s Overwatch was one of them.

This week Blizzard posted: “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.”

There is no specific date set for the removal.  Blizzard has only indicated that it will occur shortly.

Belgium and Netherlands have been the only countries to make this ruling so far.  This has not stopped some gaming companies from taking notice and removing all micro transactions. Like Monolith Productions with Shadow of War.

Could this be the start of changes across the world in the gaming industry?  Will we one day play games again that don’t have loot boxes or micro transactions?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: PCGamer, Segment Next Daily & Blizzard Forums


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