Diablo Immortal, Blizzard Entertainment’s free-to-play Diablo game, is set to launch on Windows PC and mobile Wednesday. But it’ll reportedly stay offline in two European countries: Belgium and the Netherlands.
That’s because of those countries’ strict loot box laws, according to a report from GamesIndustry.biz and Dutch website Tweakers. A Blizzard support worker also reportedly told a Reddit user that it’s due to gambling restrictions. Previously, Blizzard has simply removed loot box systems from the Belgian releases of its games, like Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm. Representatives have said that move is meant to comply with the Belgian Gaming Commission's rules. But instead choosing not to bring Diablo Immortal to Belgium and the Netherlands might be a hint about how enmeshed those systems are in this game.
Blizzard has not responded to Polygon’s request for comment.
Blizzard showed some of Diablo Immortal’s cosmetic and customization options for the mobile game in March. It said Diablo Immortal’s new Class Change system would help support this, with plans “to roll out a new cosmetic set for all classes each month,” each of which match the Battle Pass theme. Battle passes are a staple of free-to-play games, wherein players must purchase the pass to unlock rewards for playing.
Blizzard has said, however, that all of Diablo Immortal’s customizable gear will be available to earn through play rather than only through purchases.
Like Belgium, the Netherlands has also previously ruled against loot boxes in games, specifically in FIFA 21’s Ultimate Team mode. But that ruling was overturned in 2022, in a court case that decided card packs were not considered gambling under Dutch law.
Diablo Immortal, first announced at BlizzCon 2018, was developed by Blizzard and NetEase. The game was delayed to 2022 in August 2021 following feedback from the game’s alpha testing periods.