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Researcher claims Belgium's loot box ban is "ineffective"

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A new study by researcher Leon Y. Xiao argues that Belgium's law against loot boxes hasn't had much of an effect in the four years since its creation.

As reported by GamesIndustry, Xiao writes that the law has been so easily ignored by companies that 82 percent of Belgium's highest-grossing iPhone games during May 2021 featured loot boxes.

The Belgian Gaming Commission put the law in effect in 2018, not long after loot boxes were deemed unlawful in the Netherlands by the Netherlands Gaming Authority.

That year, Belgium's Minister of Justice Koen Geens referred to loot box-heavy games such as Overwatch and FIFA 18 as "games of chance," and demanded changes to their monetization mechanics to purportedly protect children and young adults."It is often children who come into contact with such systems, and we cannot allow that," said Geens in 2018. "Especially when they are looking for fun in a video game." Developers such as Blizzard and EA complied with Belgium's law, and added features into the Belgian versions of its games to prevent players from buying in-game loot boxes with real money.

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