Nintendo shutting down selected mobile games in Belgium

Support for Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem titles ending due to revenue model concerns

Nintendo is to close Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes in Belgium due to concerns over the revenue models featured in the mobile games.

While both titles are free-to-play, they also let players spend real world money on randomly generated in-game-items, which is where they may fall foul of Belgian legislation.

In April 2018, the Belgian Gaming Commission and the Netherlands Gaming Authority declared that certain types of loot boxes were in violation of gambling laws, leading to a crackdown on their inclusion in games.

Explaining its decision, Nintendo said: “Due to the current unclear situation in Belgium regarding certain in-game revenue models, we have decided to end the service for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes in Belgium. It will therefore no longer be possible to play and download the games from Tuesday 27 August 2019.

“Players who still have Orbs and / or Leaf Tickets in their account can continue to use them until the service ends.

“In addition, future Nintendo games with similar earnings models will no longer be released in Belgium.”

In April, Rocket League became the latest high-profile game to remove the ability for players in Belgium and the Netherlands to purchase loot boxes with real money.

Earlier this month, US Senator Josh Hawley announced plans to propose new legislation that would ban loot boxes and ‘pay-to-win’ mechanics in video games targeted at minors.