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After the Netherlands ruling on Loot Boxes as gambling earlier this month, we now also have Belgium declaring them to be illegal due to their gambling implications. Both countries have strict laws that require special licenses when items obtained via what is considered gambling have a market value, even more rules when an activity is considered gambling, and both have ruled that Loot Boxes do in fact constitute gambling. The Netherlands gaming authority said that "... all of the loot boxes that were studied could be addictive. Loot boxes are similar to gambling games such as slot machines and roulette in terms of design and mechanisms", and the Belgian Justice Minister went further and said that games that have a specific type of Loot Box will have to remove them if they want to avoid penalties (including up to 5 years of jail time and 800,000 Euro fines, which could be doubled when minors are involved).
While the Netherlands case only ended up naming FIFA 18, Dota 2, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Rocket League, the more recent Belgian ruling included Overwatch in its list, joining FIFA 18 and CS:GO. The irony of these rulings is that both studies were prompted mostly by the huge uproar over EA's Star Wars: Battlefront 2, which had the most egregious Loot Box system of them all, but at the time of these investigations the Loot Boxes were suspended from the game due to the fan backlash.
Both countries want to cooperate with the game developers and publishers to find out which of them should remove the boxes and how to do it, while the Netherlands were slightly more flexible as they only require that the boxes remove "almost winning" effects, visual effects and the ability to keep opening loot boxes quickly one after the other, as well as somehow make it possible to exclude vulnerable groups such as children or prove that the Loot Boxes are "harmless". They've also given the companies a deadline by which they need to have the changes done, June 20th, 2018, at which point they'll implement fines and possible bans of the games in question and potentially more.
This whole situation is pretty bad for Overwatch, since among the games listed its Loot Boxes are among the least problematic as they only hold cosmetic items that can't be directly traded, but it got swept up in this controversy anyway. What do you think of the ubiquitous Loot Box system that's been cropping up everywhere (even single player games)?
In this very impressive machinima made using Source Filmmaker, the Heroes of Overwatch face off against Team Fortress 2's cast in what can only be described as an apocalyptic battle of grand proportions. While the movie starts off seemingly Overwatch biased, it quickly gets more balanced, facing off the iconic characters against each other: from a THRILLING sniper duel showcasing bronze minus levels of aim, to a turret faceoff where Torbjörn doesn't quite fare well, Junkrat and the pyro chilling, Tracer facing the scout and much much more.
The Winglet truly did a very impressive job and it's well worth watching to the end if you're even mildly familiar with either game. Enjoy:
Competitive play season 9 is coming to an end in just a few days and it's soon time to claim the rewards for your hard work! April 27th is the day and everyone that competed gets the usual spray and icon, so check out the exact times the season ends in your region.
Season 9 End (source)
Season 9 of Competitive Play is coming to an end soon, so we wanted to lay out a few key dates and important pieces of information regarding the upcoming season roll.
DATE AND TIMES
Season 9 will officially end on Friday, April 27 at 5:00 p.m. PT (Saturday, April 28 at 00:00 UTC). Season 10 is currently scheduled to launch three days later on Monday, April 30 at 5:00 p.m. PT (Tuesday, May 1 at 00:00 UTC).
For time zone assistance, and to see when the season will roll in your region, visit thetimezoneconverter.com 39.
SEASON 9 REWARDS
If you completed your placement matches during Season 9, you will be eligible to receive a special spray and player icon. These will be unlocked automatically when you log into your account the first time after the season ends. If you are placed within the Top 500 players on your platform (and in your region) at the end of the season, you’ll receive an extra player icon and animated spray on top of the other seasonal rewards.
Aside from sprays and icons, you’ll also receive a number of Competitive Points based on the maximum skill rating you achieved during the season.
Here’s the Skill Rating (SR) to Competitive Point (CP) breakdown for Season 9:
SR 1-1499 (Bronze): 65 CP
SR 1500-1999 (Silver): 125 CP
SR 2000-2499 (Gold): 250 CP
SR 2500-2999 (Platinum): 500 CP
SR 3000-3499 (Diamond): 750 CP
SR 3500-3999 (Master): 1200 CP
SR 4000-5000 (Grandmaster): 1750 CP
THANKS FOR PLAYING!
Thank you for joining us for Season 9 of Competitive Play! Whether you placed in the Top 500 or just completed your placement matches, we’re glad you’re a part of our community and hope to see you in Season 10.
Until then, be sure to keep your eyes on playoverwatch.com 8, as well as our Twitter and Facebook pages for all the latest game news!
Symmetra has never really been in what you might call a good place, even disregarding portal trolls and such. She's already received a number of overhauls (both large and small), but this time it seems her upcoming rework is going to be the biggest ever and might significantly change how she plays.
In an interview with Inven Global, Lead Software Engineer Timothy Ford revealed that the major changes would also make Symmetra a defense hero:
The rest of the interview goes into detail on Retribution and the Archives event in general, Hanzo changes, Avoid as Teammate and more, so check it out.