I think many might have seen this one coming. On the 19th of June, Valve issued a statement to all Counter Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2 players in the Netherlands that they will no longer be able to purchase online loot boxes since it is now officially against a ruling issued by the Dutch Kansspelautoriteit (translates as Gaming Authority).
In the statement, Valve made it clear that while they wish to comply with the ruling, they did not receive clear, legal information on why the ruling has been passed, nor did they feel that it is necessary.
The statement was sent to all gamers in the Netherlands via a notification on Steam. Here, Valve adds that they were threatened with legal action if they cannot find a method by the 20th of June to remove the in-game purchasing option, which has now officially been regarded as in violation of gambling laws.
The crux of the legal issue that Valve faces is based on the fact that the goods found inside loot boxes can be transferred to other players. According to the Kansspelautoriteit, this constitutes gambling and is ultimately against the law since loot boxes have tangible value (even though they are digital).
In the meantime, Steam will continue to pursue the matter with their Dutch legal representatives in order to establish whether they can successfully implement a system in which loot boxes can be brought back to both respective games.
You can read the full statement via a screengrab capture from Reddit user NASCS.
Pieter hails all the way from the tip of southern Africa and suffers from serious PC technophilia. Therapists say it is incurable. Now he has to remind himself constantly that gaming doesn’t count as a religion even if DRM is the devil. Thankfully, writing reviews sometimes helps with the worst symptoms.