Diablo Immortal, the upcoming mobile-focused Diablo title, is set to release for Android and iOS devices later this week on June 2nd. It will also release in Open Beta on PC as well. Reports have been circulating that the video game will not, however, release in the Netherlands or Belgium due to loot box legislation. According to a recent Diablo Immortal group interview attended by ComicBook.com, it has been confirmed that Diablo Immortal will not be available in either country due to "the operating environment" in them -- which seems like a roundabout way of saying it's because of the aforementioned legislation.
"Diablo Immortal will not be available in Belgium and Netherlands," stated Peiwen Yao, Diablo Immortal Executive Producer, during the interview, "because this is related to the operating environment for games in those countries."
In general, Belgium and the Netherlands consider loot boxes a form of illegal gambling and are therefore against the law when included in video games. Belgium, more specifically, took a fairly strong stance back in 2018 with the Belgian Minister of Justice Koen Geens stating at the time that anyone caught violating the law would "risk a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to 800,000 euros."
Since then, some companies have either reworked loot boxes or entirely removed them in order to comply with loot box legislation. Notably, EA made changes to its FIFA franchise and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive made a change in order to make it impossible to open loot boxes in both the Netherlands and Belgium. While Diablo Immortal could, in theory, also makes changes specifically for those countries in order to be as widely available as possible, it seems like at the moment it simply will not release or operate in either for the foreseeable future.
As noted above, Diablo Immortal is set to be officially released for Android and iOS devices on June 2nd. On that same day, the free-to-play title will launch an Open Beta on PC as well. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the upcoming Diablo video game right here.
Are you looking forward to the release of Diablo Immortal? What do you think about it not releasing in certain countries? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop in order to talk about all things gaming!