The Dutch government is now preparing to completely ban loot boxes in video games. This is part of the country’s plan to improve regulations for in-game purchases.
“As of this moment, there are plans for the Dutch government to improve the regulations for in-game purchases,” the message reads. “One of the goals is to ban loot boxes in games.”
However, it is unclear when the ban will enter into force.
The Dutch Minister in charge of consumer affairs is calling for a ban on #LootBoxes. 🚫🇳🇱
My reading is that they will call for this at an EU level but will impose it nationally imminently. 😳
— Leon Y. Xiao (@LeonXiaoY) June 30, 2023
The Netherlands is currently only against loot boxes with real economic value. Some companies have already faced trouble trying to release their games in the country — for example, Blizzard failed to properly launch Diablo Immortal due to local gambling restrictions.
In July 2022, six political parties in the Netherlands submitted a motion to ban loot boxes entirely, saying that “children in video games are manipulated to purchase microtransactions” and calling loot boxes a “form of gambling.”
Almost a year later, Micky Adriaansens, minister of economic affairs and climate policy of the Netherlands, called for a nationwide ban on loot boxes. She cited the importance of fully and clearly informing consumers about online purchases and stopping misleading information.