Devilish MMOARPG Diablo Immortal is set to launch later this week – but not everywhere. Players in Belgium and the Netherlands won’t get a release, likely because the game’s microtransactions clash with their gambling laws.
The news was originally reported by Dutch outlet Tweakers and picked up by GameIndustry.biz. It has since been confirmed by Blizzard. Players in the two countries cannot pre-register on the Apple and Google Play stores like they can elsewhere.
The company hasn’t specifically said that the lack of release in these areas is related to loot boxes, but both countries have laws which declare that at least some of them fall into the category of illegal gambling. When the Belgian ruling was made in 2018, the country’s minister for justice Koen Geens said the country “must ensure that children and adults are not confronted with games of chance when they are looking for fun in a video game.”
This has previously led games like Rocket League, CS:GO, and Blizzard’s own Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm to remove or otherwise restrict loot crate sales in those countries.
For Diablo Immortal, however, Blizzard have gone one step further, and are choosing not to release the game at all. No word on exactly why – they’ve only said that it’s “related to the current operating environment for games in those countries.”
Elsewhere, they’re still dealing with multiple lawsuits and investigations into allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at the company.
For everyone outside of Belgium or the Netherlands, Diablo Immortal and all of its loot boxes will launch on PC and mobile on Thursday, June 2.