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The Real Reason Diablo Immortal Won't Release In These Regions

A new entry into Blizzard's beloved MMO series, "Diablo," sounds like a can't-miss idea on paper. However, ever since its announcement in 2018, "Diablo Immortals" has struggled to garner excitement from gamers. Specifically, the news that "Diablo Immortals" would be a mobile-exclusive enraged PC gamers everywhere – leading to designer Wyatt Cheng's now-infamous question of "Do you guys not have phones?" becoming a popular meme on the internet. And with many calling for a boycott of Activision Blizzard due to its recent controversies, "Diablo Immortal" looked poised for failure.

However, recently, Blizzard announced that "Diablo Immortal" will get a PC version, with a beta launching alongside the full mobile release on June 2nd. But as gamers everywhere started registering for "Diablo Immortals," some gamers found that they could not sign up. And, as it turns out, this wasn't a bug. Instead, Activision Blizzard has announced that the upcoming MMO won't be released in two European countries (per Eurogamer), which led to some confusion in certain regions.

Lootboxes are to blame

As originally reported by Dutch news outlet Tweakers (translated by Gameindustry.biz), Blizzard will not release "Diablo Immortal" in the Netherlands and Belgium, citing "the current operating conditions in these countries" as the reason. This corporate jargon didn't explain much, so Redditor Evoratus took it upon themselves to contact Blizzard Support to get a more detailed explanation. In their response, Blizzard Support explained, "The lootboxes in the game are against the law in your country." This was further confirmed by Eurogamer, after the publication reached out to Activision Blizzard.

This move makes sense, as lootbox laws vary from country to country. Notably, Belgium has outright banned lootboxes and online gambling (per the BBC), while the Netherlands has heavily restricted it (CMS Law-Now). Although legal in many places, lootboxes continue to be a controversial topic, with many questioning their legality, as they can be seen as a form of online gambling with real-world money. However, unlike traditional gambling, which is highly regulated, lootboxes are basically available to everyone. Unsurprisingly, the governments of many countries are starting to step in to regulate. 

Unfortunately for the two countries in question, Blizzard Support also explained that "Diablo Immortal" would not come to Belgium or the Netherlands anytime soon, unless the laws were changed to accommodate. Of course, gamers in these countries can always use a VPN to access the game, but those players may not be safe from a ban.