Valve has changed the way Dota 2 works for Dutch players so they can see what's in a loot box before they buy it.
The change comes in response to demands from the Dutch Gaming Authority about the way loot boxes work in some games.
In June, Valve pulled item trading and Steam Marketplace transfers for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 in the Netherlands in response to a threat from Dutch authorities to prosecute video game companies who failed to alter their game's design after it found some loot boxes were gambling.
Valve received two letters from the Dutch Gaming Authority, stating both CS:GO and Dota 2 contained loot boxes that violated the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act.
Now, Valve has gone one step further, and changed the way loot boxes work in Dota 2. As highlighted by redditor Larhf, Dutch players can now see rewards before buying a loot box. Additionally, you can't buy multiple boxes at the same time (you can buy just one at a time), and the special loot box opening animation has been ditched.
The tweak is an interesting workaround from Valve in that it tells players exactly what they will get from a loot box (a move seemingly designed to counter the claim that loot boxes are gambling because you don't know what you're going to get from them), but you have to buy a loot box to see what's in the next one.
Could this model be employed by other games? When the Dutch Gaming Authority investigated video games, it failed to name names, but it's believed EA Sports' FIFA 18, Psyonix's Rocket League and PUBG Corp.'s PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds were all singled out as failing to comply with Dutch law.