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ArenaNet pulls plug on in-game transactions for Guild Wars 2 players in Belgium

UPDATE: MMO developer joins growing list of games companies forced to take action in Belgium over recent loot box ruling

Original story (25/09/18): ArenaNet has removed loot boxes from Guild Wars 2 for players in Belgium, entirely shutting down the in-game currency system.

Since September 19, Belgian players have been unable to purchase Gems, and Belgium has been removed from the list of billable countries.

According to users on both the Guild Wars 2 forum and subReddit, the option to purchase any in-game currency has be disabled for players in Belgium, along with the option to redeem Gem codes.

Although ArenaNet has yet to comment on the issue, it is the latest in an increasingly long line of developers to have removed loot boxes from their games in Belgium.

In April this year, the Belgian Gaming Commission ruled that real-money loot boxes violate national gambling legislation, and subsequently recommended criminal prosecution against developers which continued to feature the mechanic in their game.

Since then Valve, Blizzard, and Take Two Interactive have removed loot boxes from their games, while EA may yet go to court over the issue.

Update (26/09/18): ArenaNet confirmed speculation this week that the decision was in order to comply with Belgian law.

"In order to conform to changes in Belgian law, purchases of gems, the Ultimate Edition, and the Ultimate Edition upgrade have been disabled for residents of Belgium," said an ArenaNet spokesperson on the Guild Wars 2 forums.

"We are continuing to investigate more flexible solutions. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause our players."

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Ivy Taylor

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Ivy joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2017 having previously worked as a regional journalist, and a political campaigns manager before that. They are also one of the UK's foremost Sonic the Hedgehog apologists.