Belgium's Gaming Commission announced last week that the body would be investigating whether or not loot boxes in games like Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Overwatch could be considered a form of gambling. Well the investigation appears to have reached a conclusion. According to VTM News the Commission has ruled yes, loot boxes are a form of gambling.
According to a Google translation (via PCGamer), "The mixing of money and addiction is gambling," said Belgium's Gaming Commission. Belgium's Minister of Justice Koen Geens added that "Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child."
Apparently Geens wants to ban in-game purchases like loot boxes in both Belgium and abroad. He explained that while Belgian officials will have to go to Europe to enforce their findings, the Belgian government "will certainly try to ban it."
This is a dramatic ruling in Belgium, and potentially Europe, but we'll have to find out how this affects the rest of the world.
There has been a huge uproar about unfair loot practices featured in recent video game release, particularly Triple-A games. Star Wars Battlefront 2 in particular suffered a huge controversy where gamers accused EA of promoting unfair loot practices in the game. As a result, EA temporarily removed loot boxes from the game, explaining that the company will revisit loot boxes after finding a better "balance."
This story is developing and we will update this post with any new revelations.