Belgium plans to ban loot boxes all over Europe

Belgium plans to ban loot boxes in online games as their Gaming Commission finds it as a form of gambling. The country's minister for justice plans to take the issue to other European nations as well. Loot boxes are a major source of income for online gaming.

A boy dressed as a character from Star Wars takes part in an event held for the release of the film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at a movie theater in San Salvador, El Salvador, December 17, 2015. Reuters

Belgium Government plans to ban loot boxes, the virtual items used in online games which give customized options to improve the player's avatar or character after the country's Gaming Commission announced it as a form of gambling.

According to reports, the Belgium Minister of justice Koen Geens said, "The mixing of money and addiction is gambling... Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child."

He said he will try to ban the loot box completely as it has blind, randomizing process. Geens said that Belgium will approach the European Union to end this business model all over Europe. He said that the process would be time-consuming as the ministry tries to bring the ban for the entire Europe.

Loot Boxes are a major source of revenue for the online gaming business. A dedicated player would be able to spend huge amounts of money for upgrading their game by changing the character skins, emotes, boost packs or collectible-card games.

The game publishers and developers make use of the trend by releasing products which support the game through several years of service.

The Belgium Gaming Commission had ruled the loot boxes as gambling for they are addictive gaming tool which require money to get activated.

Gamers roused their voice as the EA games' new game Star Wars: Battlefront 11 planned to make players use real money to acquire the loot boxes to get advantages in its multiplayer session. Disney removed real-money transactions from their game DICE when the protests rose.

The protests gained the attention of the Belgium Gaming Commission which took the initiative to bring the ban. The gaming business might be affected if it faces a loot box ban in Europe. Other countries might also impose the ban as a response to the Europe model.