Roblox game Adopt Me ends Netherlands service due to loot boxes

Adopt Me, a game made on the platform Roblox, had its service in the Netherlands and Belgium ended earlier in the week. Developer Dreamcraft announced the shut down was part of a wider effort on Roblox Corporation’s end to comply with the country’s efforts to curb loot boxes. 

“As part of a Roblox-led program to comply with laws in The Netherlands and Belgium, access to Adopt Me from those countries has been disabled as of September 13th 2022,” wrote Dreamcraft. 

The Netherlands declared loot boxes to be unlawful in 2018, on account of how loot boxes are often a game of chance and involve players spending real world money to acquire random in-game items. Earlier this summer, Dutch politicians called for further regulations on the controversial mechanic. 

Adopt Me is a game within Roblox where players can adopt pets, build and decorate a home, and interact with other players. It’s one of the most popular games on Roblox, which itself has been previously criticized for exploiting young game developers through its business models. 

While acknowledging that Adopt Me will be changed to comply with the region’s laws, Dreamcraft warned that affected players those efforts may take time. “We don’t want to compromise the quality of the game. Please remain patient and keep an eye on our social media pages for potential updates on this.”

Dreamcraft isn’t the first studio to have its game end service in the Netherlands, as Blizzard had the same problem with Diablo Immortal earlier this year. Even then, it didn’t seem to affect the mobile game much, as it had 20 million installs in over a month.

Earlier this year, researcher Leon Y. Xiao conducted a study that determined that Belgium’s anti-loot box measures has been easy to get around, and may negatively impact the region’s esports industry. Given how ineffective the law has been, said Xiao, a re-evaluation of loot boxes is advised.

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