PES 2019 microtransactions removed in Belgium

Belgium has been extremely proactive when it comes to potential gambling in video games. In 2018, the Belgian government declared Overwatch, FIFA 18, and CS:GO illegal due to their use of loot boxes. Their latest legislation has led Konami to remove PES 2019 microtransactions from the soccer title.

In a statement released on their website titled “Important Notice for Players in Belgium”, Konami explained the move [via Reddit]:

“Following the publication of the Belgian Gaming Commission’s (BGC) report referring to the mechanics of “Loot Boxes” in video games, we fully respect the BGC’s interpretation of relevant laws and made the decision to implement local changes to “PES 2019 (PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2019)” in Belgium.

This means that we will discontinue sales of myClub Coins for players in Belgium. The discontinuation will take place across all platforms (PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC Steam) one after another when necessary preparations are made.

After the discontinuation, players in Belgium will no longer be able to purchase myClub Coins, but can continue to use (including for Special Agents) their existing myClub Coins along with free myClub Coins that are rewarded by playing the game.”

Konami’s move to remove PES 2019 microtransactions mirrors that of EA’s recent decision to discontinue FIFA points in FIFA 19. PES 2019 myClub Coins allow players to purchase club agents, managers, contracts and stamina in the myClub online mode. Unlike EA, Konami chose not to challenge the Belgian Gaming Commission’s interpretation of the law in their statement. EA insist they don’t agree with the current implementation of their rulings.

The Belgian government has taken the lead on combatting the issue of loot boxes and microtransactions even since before a damning report released by the Belgian Gaming Commission in May 2018. In September of last year, 2K Games decided to call on its fans to oppose their rulings. Unfortunately for 2K, the Belgian government hasn’t relented and have the support of 14 other nations in tackling the issue.