Nintendo removes mobile games in Belgium

Image source, Nintendo

Two Nintendo mobile games will soon no longer be available in Belgium as the game-maker moves to comply with local gambling laws.

In 2018, Belgium outlawed games that used "loot boxes" to reward players with random items.

The game mechanic is an illegal form of gambling, the country's gambling regulator says.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes would not be available after 27 August, Nintendo said.

Dutch ban

The decision was due to the "current unclear situation in Belgium regarding certain in-game revenue models", Nintendo said on its Belgian website.

Both games let players buy boxes in pursuit of rare items or heroes that help complete the game.

Both titles appear to fall foul of the ruling by Belgium's gambling commission, which prohibits games from selling packs of randomly selected in-game items.

Nintendo said any future games it produced that used randomised loot boxes as a reward for players would not be released in Belgium.

Nintendo's decision follows similar action by Blizzard, Valve and 2K, which also changed or removed games to make them comply with the decision.

Game news site Eurogamer said it was "unclear" why Nintendo was acting only now.

It also pointed out that the Netherlands took a similar decision about loot boxes before Belgium issued its ruling yet both Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem Heroes were still available in the Netherlands.

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