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Activision Blizzard fined a staggering €5000 for Diablo Immortal loot boxes

This new fine marks Activision Blizzard's second loot box-related controversy for Europe and Diablo Immortal.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

May 23, 2023

1 Min Read
Key art for Blizzard's Diablo Immortal, showing heroes charging into battle.

Over in Europe, the PEGI ratings board issued a fine to Activision Blizzard over Diablo Immortal. Both it and fellow game publisher Plaion were issued individual penalties for €5000 (or $5,389) for failing to not disclosing that loot boxes were in their respective games, Diablo Immortal and Hunt: Showdown

Per the Complaints Board and Regulations Committee, neither publisher informed PEGI of the controversial gameplay mechanic while obtaining their individual ratings licenses. Like the ESRB, PEGI ratings now explicitly state when a game features in-game purchases, in an effort to better inform worried parents about them.

Activision Blizzard and Plaion both violated PEGI's code of conduct, it's claimed, and were further required to "take immediate action to update relevant store listings and marketing materials."

In the case of Plaion's Hunt: Showdown, this violation specifically relates to the "Bounty Hunter" limited edition. Plaion handles the retail publishing duties for Crytek's 2019 shooter.

For both publishers, and particularly Activision, €5000 is a small amount in the grand scheme of things, but it further shows how governmental bodies are taking loot boxes more and more seriously. 

Earlier in the week, a young minor and his father filed a lawsuit against Nintendo. Its mobile game Mario Kart Tour featured loot boxes prior to October 2022, and the pair's suit calls on the developer to refund any player under 18 who was tempted to spend money on the kart racer's in-game items. 

And back in January, Europe's Parliament voted to enact some kind of regulation on in-game loot boxes to protect minors. Part of that involves the governmental body working with game developers, publishers, and even console makers to "help mitigate the risks of gaming disorders."

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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