Posted 1st July 2018 By: Derpina
Esports News – Valve was forced to restrict Dutch players from trading in two of its games, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2, due to conflicts concerning the Netherlands Gaming Authority’s rules in governing loot boxes. This means that players are now prohibited to trade any in-game items starting this month.
Replying to two letters from the Netherlands Gaming Authority (the Dutch Kansspelautoriteit), Valve released a statement to customers saying that they had to stop trading CSGO and Dota 2 items because the loot boxes from these game violate the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act. This was announced via a pop-up message on Steam:
“We still don’t understand or agree with the Kansspelautoriteit’s legal conclusion, and we’ve responded to explain more about CSGO and Dota 2. In the meantime, we have a threat from the Kansspelautoriteit to prosecute Valve if we don’t implement a remedy by June 20. The letters don’t tell us how to do that, but the Study into Loot Boxes does contain one rather simplistic statement: Loot boxes contravene the law if the in-game goods from the loot boxes are transferable. Loot boxes do not contravene the law if the in-game goods from the loot boxes are not transferable.”
Valve added that even if their practical move is to disable trading and Steam Marketplace transfers for CSGO and Dota 2 items, they still look forward to more engagement with the Kansspelautoriteit to refine their legal demands and find a solution that works with both parties.
The Netherlands Gaming Authority revealed that earlier this year, they had evaluated 10 loot boxes featuring unmanned games and discovered that four of them do not comply with the country’s Betting and Gaming Act. The reason, they stated, is that “the content of these loot boxes is determined by chance and that the prizes to be won can be traded outside of the game: the prizes have a market value…offering this type of game of chance to Dutch players without a licence is prohibited.”
Additionally, the analyses from the officials also proved that all of the loot boxes that were studied could be addictive. So, the gaming authorities immediately requested the game developers to modify the items and remove the addiction-sensitive elements (‘almost winning’ effects, visual effects, ability to keep opening loot boxes quickly one after the other and suchlike) before mid-June.
For now, Dutch Steam users attempting to trade and transfer items to another CSGO players in the Netherlands will encounter an error message stating: “This trade cannot be completed because transferring Counter-Strike: Global Offensive items is disabled in other user’s country.” As for Dota 2, there is no official announcement yet.
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