Nintendo loot boxes cause Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem removal in Belgium

Nintendo loot boxes are soon to be no more in a particular European nation. Concerns over the legality of loot boxes in Belgium has caused Nintendo to make the decision to shut down Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes.

As Eurogamer reports, Nintendo is going to be ending service to mobile games within Belgium that contain loot boxes with premium content. Although Nintendo is relatively new to the mobile space, they’ve nonetheless begun experimenting with this contentious area of the microtransactions space. Two of their games — specifically, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes — will be ending service in the country later in August 2019.

The decision to remove games with Nintendo loot boxes was announced via the company’s official Twitter account for Belgium. (Also, today I learned that Nintendo has an official Twitter account for Belgium.)

“Due to the current unclear situation in Belgium regarding certain revenue models of games, the service for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes will be stopped in Belgium on 27 August 2019,” read the tweet via machine translation.

Nintendo is not the first company to halt sales of a product in Belgium due to the unclear laws surrounding loot boxes and gambling. Blizzard Entertainment halted sales of paid loot boxes for Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm in the country. (Strangely, Hearthstone wasn’t included among the list of games removing microtransactions at the time.) Several other developers and publishers followed suit, including Valve who removed the ability to purchase Counter-Strike: Global Offensive crates in the country.

Service for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes will conclude in Belgium on August 27, 2019, bringing an end to Nintendo loot boxes in that country. Other game developers are sure to follow, and we’re likely to see a similar thing happen in other governments that have unclear or stringent laws relating to loot boxes and microtransactions.