Dota 2 apes Path of Exile with transparent lockboxes for Dutch players

No, our wholly predictable problems!

Remember when the Dutch gaming authorities effectively threatened to prosecute prosecute companies like Valve for vending and trading lockboxes the government agencies considered a clear violation of Dutch law? The result of that, as we wrote earlier this month, was that Valve turned off all trading for Dutch players, and then turned it back on again with the caveat that Dutch CSGO players can’t physically open any of the boxes.

Dota 2 is another story: It seems Dota 2 has caught up to GGG’s Path of Exile in effectively offering players in the restricted region transparent lockboxes. As RPS reports, Valve didn’t mention this in the game’s patch notes, but here’s how it appears to work:

“When Dutchlanders now look at Dota 2’s loot boxes, which contain cosmetic items, the wizard ’em up simply tells them which item they would receive if they bought it. No hoping, no dreaming, no fancy animations or pounding drums as it shows you the fabulous prizes you could have won, just: chuck us a couple euro and you’ll get this hat for this wizard – wannit?”

The upside is that Dutch players could presumably just collect and export the transparent data to everyone else to calculate odds of getting whatever floozle is in demand today. The downside, Redditors argue, is that Dutch players have to buy boxes one at a time now, and opening them isn’t quite as thrilling. “So I paid £1.45 to make a spider look horrible,” RPS quips. Welcome to modern online games.

Source: RPS, Reddit

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Redditors make another good point though: it’s still gambling. Say you want a nice item, a grand prize, and it’s not offered in the box. Pay to reroll it, and the RNG spinning to another shows you if you did, pay another spin if not, and so on. You hope the next one is jackpot, don’t know the odds and spin the wheel.


Yep. It’s one of the clearest examples of following the letter of the law while violating its principles I’ve ever seen, the kind of action that if widespread or high-profile enough prompts lawmakers to rewrite the law to close the loophole.

And, of course, if lawmakers revisit the law there is a chance it will become stricter in further ways. After all, in their review of the market that found a number of lootboxes to not be against the law, the Netherlands gambling authority basically said that the law allows certain kinds of lootboxes that should not be allowable.


Lol! So… does that mean that everytime you check to see what is in the box rng kicks in and you, potentially, see something different until you finally see what you want?

So… then super rares will no longer be super rares, am I right?



Not quite. The result of the next box is stored for your account, the only way to get another roll is to first purchase the currently offered box.

The Sims 3 box was more generous. Like the NL DOTA2 ones you saw what you would get before you purchased the lootbox, but differently from it you got a number of free rerolls per day. To this day I consider it one of the very few not-unethical lootbox models, and ironically it’s from EA (though they only ever used it for Sims 3).

Robert Mann

Meh, still boxes. Just put the stuff into a store for sale normally already. Instead, people still have to buy up things they probably don’t want if they want something… which is a design that, without all that gambling thrill flashy deception should do far worse than ala cart options.