Three Square Enix mobile games stop operating in Belgium over loot boxes
Kingdom Hearts Union X, Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia, Mobius Final Fantasy all to end in country by mid-December
Gaming publishers are reacting in a variety of ways to the Belgium Gaming Commission's decision to prosecute companies that offer loot boxes under anti-gambling laws, but Square Enix may be the first major publisher to pull its games entirely.
As found by Niche Gamer, Square Enix will be removing its three mobile titles from service in Belgium in the coming months. Mobius Final Fantasy will be withdrawn from service as soon as November 30, Kingdom Hearts Union X will end on December 6, and Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia concludes on December 19. The games will no longer be playable after this time, and Square Enix recommends using all purchased consumeables or currency before then.
In the notices for all three games, Square Enix specifically calls out the loot box problem as the cause:
"We regret to inform you that due to the present uncertain legal status of 'loot boxes' under Belgian law, KINGDOM HEARTS Union χ[Cross] will be withdrawn from service in Belgium in 30 days, on Dec. 6, 2018 (UTC) at the earliest," reads the Kingdom Hearts statement. The other two have similar wording.
The Belgium Gaming Commission published a report in April of this year calling out EA, Activision Blizzard, and Valve as violating the country's gambling laws with loot boxes in their games. As a result, both Blizzard and Valve have fallen into line by removing loot boxes from their games in the country, and were joined by companies such as Take-Two and ArenaNet.
EA, meanwhile, seems to have opted to stand its ground and may be headed to court over the issue. However, Belgian Gaming Commission general director Peter Naessens has said that the commission will work to change the law to apply to loot boxes should the legal challenge against EA fail.