Never in The Netherlands
This week sees the launch of Activision Blizzard’s hellish new MMO, Diablo Immortal. But while the free-to-play mobile title is preparing to unleash its evil upon most of the planet, two countries will reportedly be blocking the title’s launch due to their respective laws on in-game purchases.
Initially reported by Dutch news outlet Tweakers, both Belgium and The Netherlands have refused Diablo Immortal service within the countries’ borders due to “the current operating conditions in these countries.” It should be noted that both countries in question have taken staunch stances against the controversial “loot box” mechanic, which continues to skirt around various gambling laws worldwide.
Over on the Diablo Immortal subreddit, poster Evoratus uploaded a message they received from a Blizzard employee warning players from the affected countries from attempting to log in. This statement openly calls out the loot box laws as the reason that the title will not launch in Belgium or The Netherlands, and suggests that any Blizzard account that fans a way to circumvent the block may find itself banned.
“Unfortunately players in the Netherlands and Belgium will not be able to install Diablo Immortal due to the countries’ gambling restrictions,” reads the unofficial statement. “The lootboxes in the game are against the law in your country, so unless the gambling restrictions change the game will not be released […] It would be illegal for you to download the game in another country like France. If you manage to run the game I cannot guarantee that you will not be banned for it.”
In addition, pre-registration for Diablo Immortal has been closed on both PC and mobile platforms. For all other countries, Diablo Immortal is still expected to launch on June 2.
Diablo Immortal reportedly won’t launch in two countries due to loot boxes [GamesIndustry.biz]