Apex Legends Mobile Will Not Be Released in Belgium Because of Loot Box Rules

Apex Legends Mobile was released worldwide today. Well, almost worldwide. The game will not be released in Belgium due to the country’s gambling laws that prevent the inclusion of certain types of loot boxes within video games and Respawn and Tencent’s refusal to alter the game to fit within those regulations.

The rules banning loot boxes from Belgium

Apex Legends Mobile

Belgium considers some types of loot boxes to be similar to games of chance. These loot boxes have randomized items like weapons, outfits, or upgrades that have different values or rarities. Anybody who pays for a randomized loot box in Belgium is considered to be gambling, which means players must be at least the age of 18 to be able to purchase them. As Apex Legends Mobile is rated 16+ by PEGI, there’s a chance that underage players in Belgium would be able to gamble in the game if loot boxes are left unaltered.

Several games have removed their premium loot boxes in Belgium so they can continue to be available in that country, although those earned just through gameplay still contain randomized items. Other games, like Fortnite, have allowed their premium boxes like the loot llamas to show their contents without requiring a purchase, therefore no longer being classified as randomized purchases. However, Tencent, Respawn, and EA seem unwilling to make any kind of concession to make the game available in Belgium, simply stating in the Prime Time patch notes that they “won’t be publishing Apex Legends Mobile in Belgium due to the local regulatory situation around paid random rewards.”

In other news, Arma Reforger has launched on Steam and Xbox Series X|S today and will bridge the gap between the release of Arma 4, but there’s no sign of a release for Playstation consoles. Elsewhere, Star Wars Andor will be launching on the Disney+ streaming service later this summer.