OK, so that headline is a bit of an exaggeration, loot boxes are still in Valve games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2, but because of increasing legislative pressure from Dutch officials, Valve pulled access to loot boxes in The Netherlands.
Dutch players in these games will get a notice explaining the decision when they login the first time after the shutdown.
The Gaming Authority contacted Valve in May, stating that CS:GO and DOTA 2 both contain loot boxes that violate the Dutch Better Gaming Act, and action must be taken to resolve the issue by June 20.
The official statement from Valve indicates that it does not agree with the DGA’s ruling and that appeals are ongoing but that the current action is the only possible solution to the problem. There’s no word yet on if anything else will change as a result of these rulings, but I wouldn’t be surprised if more games make similar decisions to Valve.
And Capcom might run afoul of this issue as well with a recent change to the Survival Mode in Street Fighter V.
Menat has opened up a fortune telling shop, where you can spend 500 Fight Money to get a Fantasy Fortune Reading. These readings are then deciphered, granting you several items, some exclusive to Fighting Chance. Fighting Chance Mode is another new addon by the way. Items include Battle Goods, which help with completing Survival Mode, and a bunch of custom costumes for various characters.
While adding loot boxes to Street Fighter V more than two years after release is weird, at least they don’t use real money. These items also have no impact on gameplay outside of Survival Mode.
It will be interesting to see what other controversy this loot box phenomenon can spawn in the future, just hopefully no one screws up as bad as EA.