Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Guild Wars 2 disables purchases of gems in Belgium

Little grey sales.

ArenaNet has disabled the purchase of gems in Guild Wars 2 for those in Belgium.

The company said it took the decision in order for the game to comply with Belgian law, which now considers loot boxes in video games to be gambling.

ArenaNet has also blocked the sale of the Ultimate Edition and the Ultimate Edition upgrade in Belgium.

In a statement, ArenaNet said "we are continuing to investigate more flexible solutions", which suggests it may tweak the massively multiplayer online role-playing game for the Belgian market.

Here's the statement:

"In order to conform to changes in Belgian law, purchases of gems, the Ultimate Edition, and the Ultimate Edition upgrade have been disabled for residents of Belgium. We are continuing to investigate more flexible solutions. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause our players."

It's unclear exactly what about Guild Wars 2 got ArenaNet in hot water with the Belgium authorities, but it may have something to do with the game's "ecto gambling" system.

Cover image for YouTube videoEcto Gambling 32018

ArenaNet isn't the first video game company to disable loot boxes in order to comply with Belgian law. Back in August, Blizzard announced plans to remove paid loot boxes from its games in Belgium. Prior to that Valve blocked Belgian and Dutch players from opening paid loot boxes in CS:GO, and 2K did the same for NBA 2K.

One video game company that's refusing to play ball, however, is EA, which is reportedly under criminal investigation in Belgium over FIFA Ultimate Team card packs.