Rocket League dev Psyonix has removed the ability for players in Belgium and the Netherlands to unlock the loot box-esque crates that show up in-game.
Psyonix notes in Rocket League’s 1.61 patch notes that the call was made “due to government regulations,” making the game one of several that have had to rework or disable systems to comply with loot box legislation in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Rocket League’s crates come from drops that occur throughout the game but, for the most part, players have to purchase a key to get at the assortment of cosmetic goodies found inside. Like other loot box systems, there are different tiers of rarity for the potential items in a crate, though Psyonix has previously published the odds for getting certain drops. Despite that, the chance-based nature of Rocket League’s crates (and other loot box systems) are, to many government regulators, too similar to gambling to allow.
Belgium and the Netherlands tend to be on the stricter side of loot box legislation. Earlier this year, Konami ended sale of in-game currency for PES 2019 in Belgium to stay on the right side of legislation and, in the year before, games like Dota 2, Guild Wars 2, FIFA 18, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm have had to make similar changes as well.
Meanwhile, other government regulators have been keeping a close eye on how loot boxes are used in games. The United States’ FTC, for instance, is set to hold a public workshop in August to examine the mechanics and marketing of loot boxes.