Nintendo will be pulling both Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes from mobile phones in Belgium this coming August, due to laws in the country that hold loot boxes to the same standards as gambling.
In 2018, the Belgium Gaming Commission launched an investigation into the shady business practices used by prominent video game developers in regards to loot boxes, as they could appear in games that were marketed towards children. The results of this investigation led to loot boxes being banned, which led to a backlash from video game developers, with companies like EA trying to challenge the ruling.
It seems that Nintendo is taking Belgium's legal stance seriously, as the company has announced on their official Belgium website that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes will no longer function in the country after August 27 and that the games will not be available to download after that date. Nintendo thanked the Belgian fans of the games in the announcement and assured them that orbs and tickets will still function in both games until the cutoff date.
Nintendo also stated that games with similar monetization practices wouldn't be released in the region, which means that Belgium might also miss out on the upcoming Dr. Mario World and Mario Kart Tour, depending on how the games are monetized. Super Mario Run likely won't be affected, as the game requires the player to buy stages, rather than relying on any random elements.
The laws regarding loot boxes and gambling practices in video games are still unclear in most countries and Belgium is one of the few places where an attempt has been made to curb their appearances in games that could be played by children. There has been talk of other countries using a similar approach, with lawmakers in the USA already suggesting that loot boxes should be banned, but nothing has been written into law just yet. It seems to be increasingly likely that the days of the loot box are at an end and it may just be a case of when and not if.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes will no longer be playable or available to download in Belgium from August 27, 2019.