Rocket League loot boxes can no longer be opened in Belgium and The Netherlands in a continuation of the war between government regulation of in-game microtransactions and game developers. The most recent patch from the game has had a slew of changes as they often do, but two particular lines have fundamentally changed the microtransactions system for players in two countries as a result of local regulations.
Here are the relevant portions directly from the patch notes on Steam:
Crates and KeysBelgium and The Netherlands have both been looking into the practices behind loot box-style microtransactions and this has likely caused developers a measure of concern. These countries (and others) are concerned that the practice may fall afoul of local gambling laws.
• Crate drop rates can now be viewed in-game on the Crate Preview Screen • Players in Belgium can no longer open Crates with Keys due to government regulations • Players in the Netherlands can no longer open Crates with Keys due to government regulations
Consequently, several developers have removed this style of microtransactions from these countries or attempted a legal challenge. Blizzard Entertainment removed paid loot boxes in Belgium from both Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm. Electronic Arts attempted a legal challenge in Belgium for the FIFA games, but they ultimately stood down and decided to stop selling FIFA points in that country. Square Enix, too, has pulled back loot boxes for three of their games in Belgium.
The issue of loot boxes in video games is still up for debate in many nations. In the case of Rocket League loot boxes, it seems that they're following the lead of other game developers and pulling back from both Belgium and The Netherlands entirely in this respect. They aren't the first and odds are they won't be the last, either.
What do you think of Rocket League loot boxes being removed from Belgium? Do you believe that this microtransaction system is akin to gambling? Let us know in the comments below!