|PC Gamer | Date: 20-06-2018 19:49:57|
In April, a study of loot boxes by the Netherlands Gaming Authority concluded four out of ten videogames considered fell foul of the country's gambling laws. And while specific games were not named at the time, the regulator body warned that "enforcement action" would be taken against any games that failed to meet legal requirements by June 20.
That's today, of course, and it now appears loot boxes in both Valve's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 have been deemed illegal. As reported by tweakers.net (via Reddit), players of both games were met today with a message from Valve detailing the sanctions.
As posted by Reddit user hollandje, here's the message in full:
Dear Counter-Strike: Global Offensive customers,
In May, we received two letters from the Dutch Kansspelautoriteit, stating that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 contain ‘loot boxes’ that violate the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act. The Kansspelautoriteit accusation is different from how other countries think about loot boxes, so we hired Dutch legal counsel, looked at the recent Study into Loot Boxes published by the Kansspelautoriteit, and learned more about Dutch law. We still don’t understand or agree with the Kansspelautoriteit’s legal conclusion, and we’ve responded to explain more about CS:GO 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."
So for now our only practical alternative is to disable trading and Steam Marketplace transfers for CS:GO and Dota 2 items for Dutch customers. We apologize to you for this inconvenience. We hope that, after more engagement with the Kansspelautoriteit, they may refine their legal demands and we can find a solution that is less inconvenient.
This move follows Belgium's loot box injunctions, whose Gambling Commission also ruled against loot boxes in Overwatch, FIFA 18, and CS:GO in April. A deadline was not set in this instance, however it will be interesting to see how Belgian authorities proceed in light of the above.
|Rock, Paper, Shotgun | Date: 20-06-2018 19:07:33|
The beta for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive s shiny new UI, Panorama, is now available to players who fancy a preview. Valve is touting it as the most substantial change to the look and feel of CS:GO since the game was released in 2012. Every part of the UI has been updated, so it might take a bit of time to get used to.
|Eurogamer | Date: 20-06-2018 13:48:00|
It seems the Netherlands' threat to prosecute video game companies over loot boxes has claimed its first victim: Valve.
Players of CS:GO and Dota 2 in the Netherlands were today greeted with a message from Valve saying the company had pulled item trading and Steam Marketplace transfers for both games.
Valve said the move was in response to the Dutch threat to prosecute video game companies who failed to alter their game's design by 20th June after it found some loot boxes were gambling.
|PC Gamer | Date: 20-06-2018 00:41:30|
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive got a major visual update today in the form of the new Panorama UI. Valve described the overhauled interface as "the most substantial change to the look and feel of CS:GO since the game was released in 2012."
"From the Main Menu to the Scoreboard, the entire experience of interacting with the game has been updated," Valve said. Unfortunately, it's not actually finished, and so this release only supports the "practice with bots" option, either solo or with a friend.
As Dot Esports pointed out, this is actually the second game to get the Panorama treatment: Valve gave Dota 2 a Panorama update last year. In order to check out CS:GO's hot new look yourself you'll have to opt in to a beta depot, which you can learn about here.
|Rock, Paper, Shotgun | Date: 14-06-2018 15:36:54|
You thought all the European General Data Protection Regulation related news was over, didn’t you? Think again. Don’t worry, this bit takes the form of fun trivia rather than an endless onslaught of delivery companies begging to throw pizza promotions at you. Among other things, you can now see every report and commendation you got in Dota 2 since 2015, along with the reason given by whoever snitched on you. This’ll be old news to anyone who’s already part of our fancy supporter program, but I’ve hardly ever been reported and thus claim my title as the nicest person in the world.
Valve have also given everyone access to their Counter-Strike: Global Offensive stats and reports, as well as all sorts of Steam bits and bobs like your chat history (going back two weeks) and community bans. (more…)