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It’s been a minute since the last completely new Diablo game was released. Last year saw the remaster of Diablo II land on modern consoles, but beyond that, it’s been 10 years since the release of Diablo III, leaving fans hungry for new content.
With that in mind, it’s definitely not ideal that the launch of the latest title in the series has been totally scrapped in two European countries, as a result of loot box laws. As reported by Eurogamer, this news was confirmed by an Activision Blizzard spokesperson this morning.
Take a look at the gameplay trailer for Diablo Immortal below.
No, it’s not Diablo IV, don’t worry. In case you were out of the loop, Diablo Immortal is the upcoming free-to-play MMO action RPG, set to release in most countries in just a couple of days (2 June). The game is set between the events of Diablo II and III, and has been primarily designed for mobile gaming (although it’s getting an open beta on PC, too).
As you’ll have already gathered, yes, loot boxes feature in the game, and it’s for this reason that players in Belgium and the Netherlands won’t be able to play when it launches, and the pre-registration for both the mobile version and PC beta have been withdrawn already.
“Diablo Immortal will not be available in Belgium or the Netherlands, and will not appear on Battle.net or the Belgian and Netherlands App or Google Play Stores,” Activision Blizzard told Eurogamer. “This is related to the current operating environment for games in those countries. Accordingly, pre-registrations for the game are not accessible in those markets.”
A couple of months ago, EA managed to win a lengthy legal battle in the Netherlands over whether or not the loot boxes in FIFA Ultimate Team counted as a “game of chance”. The court eventually ruled that they didn’t, and therefore EA got away with not paying a huge €10 million fine.
However, given that the decision to pull Diablo Immortal has come before the game has even released, it seems unlikely that that’d be reversed any time soon. Elsewhere, the servers will go live this Thursday (6pm UK time).
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