“Me and many others (all from Belgium) have been experiencing difficulty with the Gem Store. This has been discovered since September 19th. The top blue button ‘Buy Gems’ shows a red error message, saying ‘Unfortunately an error has occurred. Please try again later!’. Being annoyed with not being able to buy any gems, I’ve been searching on what could have caused this. It seems Belgium has been removed from the billing country list. Using a VPN and making it look like you’re connected from another country, will give you the normal payment options. (Given that the billing country is changed as well) Belgium being my autofill country, the billing country refers only to ‘BEL’. But when another country has been chosen, it shows the country’s full name.”
MMO players will recall that Belgium is one of the countries cracking down on lockboxes, threatening multiple AAA game studios with legal action if they do not comply with their gambling laws. Valve and Blizzard made changes to their games to make lockboxes unbuyable in the affected regions; EA is apparently planning to fight (and lose) in court. While ArenaNet was not among the list of companies threatened, it’d be reasonable to assume the studio is protecting itself all the same, though it’s certainly odd that ArenaNet has made no announcements to that effect.
We’ve reached out to ArenaNet for a statement and will update with it when we have one.
Meanwhile, remember that the bubble tea incident? The promotion with Kung Fu Tea that was supposed to inject a special Guild Wars 2 drink in the real-world store and shower players with codes for in-game goodies? The promo that capsized during its first week, reportedly because of bots, and only then began excluding EU players? At the time, it was a situation ArenaNet declined to comment on (ouch), but now it sort of has. The studio’s Chris Cleary hopped on Reddit specifically to address player complaints that they’re being banned for using the codes. In short, it’s a relatively small number of banned accounts.
“As far as the accounts being blocked (since the promo resumed), there have been 26 total (out of the tens of thousands that have been redeemed since the 20th). None of them were created before 9/20. 22 of them will stand as they are good blocks against accounts being created to abuse the promo. 4 of the blocks I have just overturned because during their investigation the GMs mistakenly bundled accounts being created during the original KFT promo run (earlier this month) and ones created since the 20th. They shouldn’t have been blocked, so they are reinstated and I’ve also sent 4K gems their way. Our bad.”