Following on the heels of the disabling of lootboxes in Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm, as well as NBA 2K, the Belgium Gaming Commission (BGC) seems to have hit ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2 for features that mimic in-game gambling. As reported by Gamasutra, players in Belgium have been completely unable to purchase in-game currency since September 19th.
According to the article, ArenaNet may have disabled the ability for players in Belgium to purchase in-game currency in an effort to comply with local anti-gambling laws and to avoid the possibility of harsh punishments for not doing so. In-game currency in Guild Wars 2 can be used to directly purchase cosmetic items and other pieces of equipment. At the same time, however, it can also be used to purchase lootboxes which is one of the prime targets of the new anti-gambling legislation.
The worst thing about this story is the fact that ArenaNet didn’t publicly inform players in Belgium beforehand and instead players just woke up one morning with the purchasing of in-game currency disabled. Actions like this, show a complete disconnect with the player base and only serve to add up to the image that these companies are only out to profit off of its players in any way possible.
Players in Belgium at first thought there was something wrong with the game itself, and ended up doing a bit of detective work themselves to discover that they were the only ones to be affected by the issue. Gamasutra has reported that players using VPNs to simulate their location in other countries were able to bypass the ban and complete their purchases.
A bit of communication goes a long way, and clearly ArenaNet is more interested in their bottom line rather than offering a quality experience for their loyal customers. It’s completely mind-blowing how they didn’t release any communication whatsoever that in-game currency purchases were going to be disabled. Blizzard and even the infamous EA Games both made announcements informing players of the impending change.
Featured Image Source: Variety