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November 20, 2019
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Nintendo is pulling two mobile games from Belgium over loot box laws

Nintendo is pulling two mobile games from Belgium over loot box laws

May 21, 2019 | By Alissa McAloon

Two of Nintendo’s free-to-play mobile games will no longer be playable in Belgium at the end of August, a shutdown that comes as a result of the country’s strict policy regarding loot boxes.

Both Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes are set to go offline in Belgium in a few months' time. Additionally, Nintendo has said in a statement spotted (and translated) by Eurogamer that it won’t release games with similar monetization models in Belgium in the future.

Both free-to-play games feature loot boxes as a monetization mechanic, though Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp only added the option last month. Regulators in Belgium ruled that loot boxes qualify as “games of chance” last year and are therefore illegal under the country’s gambling laws.

Translations of the statements shared to Nintendo of Belgium’s Twitter account and website say that the “certain unclear situation in Belgium regarding certain in-game revenue models” is responsible for its decision to end service for both games and that both will go offline on August 27.

In the year since Belgium made its ruling about loot box legality, several developers and publishers have changed how their games monetize in the two countries, with some like Square Enix and now Nintendo opting to fully shut down mobile games in the country to stay on the right side of the law.

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