Diablo Immortal has already been criticized for its in-game microtransactions, but following news that it has been banned in Belgium and the Netherlands due to lootbox gambling players are fuming.
Diablo Immortal is set to bring Blizzard’s iconic ARPG franchise to mobile (and now PC), allowing players to dive into the never-ending battle between the High Heavens and Burning Hells via a handheld device.
While Blizzard have presented the game as an innovative new step in the Diablo journey, fans haven’t exactly welcomed it with open arms. With the likes of Twitch star Asmongold already hitting out at Blizzard for adding microtransactions to the free-to-play title, the devs have been quick to announce that they’re already re-evaluating some of the costs associated with playing.
It turns out, however, that the game will not release in either the Netherlands or Belgium, likely because of both countries’ stance on virtual gambling and lootboxes. Not only are fans in these regions frustrated, but Diablo Immortal’s microtransaction issues continue to disappoint the community.
Diablo Immortal presumably banned for lootboxes
In an interview with Dutch website, Tweakers, the Communication Manager of Activision-Blizzard Benelux has confirmed Diablo Immortal will not release in either European metropolis due to “the current operating conditions in these countries.”
Both countries take a zero-tolerance stance on lootboxes (items which grant players in-game consumables via random drop), therefore most have been quick to assume that Blizzard have made these an integral part of the Diablo Immortal experience.
“Diablo Immortal will not be coming out in Belgium and the Netherlands due to lootbox gambling,” writes one player on the Diablo subreddit. “Thanks for the money grab Blizzard!”
“Honestly I had no problem when they had microtransactions for cosmetic items,” replies another. “Now that there is microtransactions for game progression, I hope the game fails. Who needs another mobile game that the biggest winner has the biggest wallet?”
“Don’t you guys have wallets?” one jokes, mocking Lead Game Designer Wyatt Cheng’s now-infamous announcement at BlizzCon in 2018.
A final comment notes: “it’s a shame they went this route. They actually had some pretty solid concepts going on, and some of the execution was actually really interesting, especially those multiplayer events. But as it stands Diablo Immortal will be a race to see who can throw more money away before the game eventually dies out.”
While this may be disappointing to some, it isn’t the first time that Belgium specifically has blocked games due to lootboxes. Blizzard’s iconic FPS title, Overwatch, was also vetoed in the country for having lootboxes, with players instead only receiving them through leveling up instead of direct purchase.
It’s not unfathomable that Blizzard find a way to launch the game in both territories, but until then it looks like we’ll have to brace our bank accounts.