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Diablo Immortal Won't Launch in Netherlands, Belgium Because of Gambling Laws

Dutch and Belgian gambling laws against lootboxes have convinced Blizzard not to release Diablo Immortal in those countries.
Dutch and Belgian gambling laws against lootboxes have convinced Blizzard not to release Diablo Immortal in those countries. / Courtesy of Blizzard

Blizzard's lootbox system in Diablo Immortal has found it at odds with Dutch and Belgian gambling laws, leading the developer to refrain from releasing the game in those countries.

According to Dutch news outlet Tweakers, the news comes just days after players in both countries were first able to pre-register for the game. A communication manager for Activision-Blizzard Benelux later told the publication that Diablo Immortal would not be available in either country at all in relation to "the current operating conditions for games in those countries" ⁠— though they refused to comment further.

Blizzard's Lootboxes are Keeping Diablo Immortal Out of the Netherlands and Belgium

This is likely related to the Belgian Gaming Commission's ruling on lootboxes in 2018, likening their mechanics to gambling and, therefore, making them illegal. As lootboxes appear in Diablo Immortal, it follows that the game either wouldn't launch in countries that follow the commission's ruling or would need to have that feature removed.

Blizzard appears to be opting for the former, and a post on the official Diablo Immortal subreddit shows the developer referring explicitly to the gambling laws in question. A screen-captured post on the game's forums apparently written by Gamemaster Gronnfindel discourages affected players from downloading the game and/or running it from a different country.

"If you manage to run the game I cannot guarantee that you will not be banned for it," the gamemaster wrote.