Square Enix Ends Service for 3 Smartphone Games in Belgium
posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Square Enix announced on October 30 and November 5 it will end service for the Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross], Mobius Final Fantasy, and Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia smartphone games in Belgium.
The announcements state that the removal is "due to the present uncertain legal status of 'loot boxes' under Belgian law." Square Enix will remove Mobius Final Fantasy by November 30, and will remove Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia on December 19. The company will remove Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] on December 6.
Like many free-to-play mobile games, these games contain a "loot box" ("gacha") mechanic that allows players to use in-game currency to summon random items or characters. While currency for summons can be earned in the game, it can also be purchased with real money.
The Belgian Gaming Commission declared in April that the loot box mechanic violates the country's gambling laws. The commission investigated FIFA 18, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for use of this mechanic and declared that the games were illegal, so the publishers could face prison sentences or fines unless the mechanic was removed.
The Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle app stopped offering "Dragon Stones" or "Summon Tickets" for purchase in Belgium in September to comply with the law.