Loot Box Laws Are Shutting Down Two Nintendo Mobile Titles in Belgium

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Loot Box Laws Are Shutting Down Two Nintendo Mobile Titles in Belgium

May 21, 2019

By: Austin Suther

 
 

Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp are undeniably financial powerhouses for Nintendo. With new legislation in Belgium cracking down on loot boxes, these two games will become unavailable in the country later this year.

Nintendo's Belgium website released a statement today which said the company will pull Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp from mobile stores and will not be available to play after August 27th, 2019. This is due to Belgium's laws regarding "in-game revenue models."

Players who own Orbs in Fire Emblem Heroes or Leaf Tickets in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp have until the end of service date to use up these in-game currencies.

To put this decision in context, both games' monetization methods and in-game revenue models are different than loot boxes such as in Overwatch, but could still be considered gambling.

 
 

In Fire Emblem Heroes, the game uses a "gacha" mechanic. Gachapon are toy machines in Japan that dispense a random, high quality toy. You have to pay for the chance to get the toy you want, so this could be considered gambling. Fire Emblem Heroes operates the same way. Players use in-game currency called orbs and have five chances per "pull" to get the hero they want. Heroes are color-coded and each pull is never gauruntees the desired color or hero.

Nintendo does provide a steady stream of orbs in Fire Emblem Heroes, but players might feel tempted to buy more if they don't get what they want. The percentage chance of getting said heroes increases slowly with every pull, but in most cases a player begins with a 3 percent chance to receive a brand new, 5 star hero.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp uses Leaf Tickets as its currency. Like in Fire Emblem Heroes, you can use this currency to speed up or buy almost anything, but the potential gambling mechanic comes into play with fortune cookies. Players buy fortune cookies with, among other things, Leaf Tickets. Opening a cookie grants items of various rarities, so players might gamble on a cookie in hopes that they get the piece of furniture or clothing they want.

Do you agree with Nintendo's decision to pull these games? Do you agree with Belgium's new legislation? Let us know in the comments below!

austin
Staff Writer

I love to write, and I love to game. So, I've combined those two hobbies into one! Some of my favorite games include Fire Emblem, Halo, The Elder Scrolls, and World of Warcraft. Sometimes I like to read the occasional fantasy novel, too!

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