The release of the Diablo Immortal mobile game has been officially postponed in some countries, including Belgium. Bad joke of the day.
This is the story of a Belgian and a Frenchman, who go to the store of their smartphones to download Diablo Immortal, but only one of the two manages to do so. It sounds like a joke, and yet, that’s what will happen on June 2, when Blizzard’s mobile game will be released in all countries… or almost. Indeed, the studio has bad news to announce to some of its players.
Diablo Immortal has disappeared from the blinds
Over the past few days, players have noticed that Diablo Immortal was no longer listed on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store in Belgium and the Netherlands. Rumors then spread claiming that the release date of the game in these countries would have been postponed. Information that has since been confirmed by Blizzard, as a spokesperson testifies:
“Diablo Immortal will not be available in Belgium or the Netherlands, and will not appear on Battle.net or the Belgian and Dutch App Stores or Google Play. This is related to the current gaming operating environment in these countries. Therefore, pre-registrations for the game are not accessible in these markets..”
The loot boxes in question
In his message, the spokesperson does not seem to insinuate that this situation is temporary and does not explain much about the real reasons which pushed the studio to make this decision. This is related to the laws in these two countries that govern “loot boxes”, or random loot boxes. Very controversial in the gaming world, Belgium and the Netherlands are among those who have very strict laws on the subject, for the well-being of players.
In both regions, loot boxes are considered a form of gambling, as they push users to spend their money without knowing if the reward will be worth the financial investment. Spoiler alert: this is rarely the case. This is a problem that EA has already faced with its game Fifa in 2018. At the moment, besides the statement of the spokesperson, it is not yet known whether Belgium and the Netherlands will find common ground with Blizzard, and for how long the release of Diablo Immortal will be postponed.
In France, players have nothing to worry about, the game is still supposed to be released on June 2 on Android and iOS, the same for the PC port which should delight purists of the franchise… unless they don’t. consider it heresy.