Square-Enix pulls three mobile titles from Belgium over lockbox rules

    
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Oh dang.

Everyone’s reacting to the lockbox laws in Belgium in different ways, but Square-Enix has apparently decided that it’s easiest to just peace out of the entire issue. Three mobile titles from the publisher (Mobius Final Fantasy, Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia, and Kingdom Hearts Union X) will all be shut down in the region in the near future, ranging from November 30th for Mobius to December 19th for Dissidia. The company advises players to spend any purchased currency before then.

There’s been nothing shared yet on any plans to compensate players, as the titles themselves aren’t shutting down anywhere other than Belgium; all three are free-to-play mobile titles, although Mobius Final Fantasy is also available on Steam. Meanwhile, players in Belgium and elsewhere were informed about a Final Fantasy XV collaboration with Final Fantasy XIV, although at this point we only know about the crossover portion in Final Fantasy XV. Presumably we’ll learn more about the FFXIV content during next week’s fan festival in Las Vegas.

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Danny Smith

And Brave Exvius. Which makes me a little smug since there was a genuinely nice mobile title called FF Record Keeper which was a fun ‘all stars’ greatest hits of battles from the series, but it wasn’t predatory enough so they replaced it with Exvius which is roughly the same thing in every regard but a cash shop monster.

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Ashley Bau

Unfortunately even with good changes there will have to be some losses (growing pains). I believe that the moves against loot boxes are largely a good cause (can’t speak specifically for the belgium law but I support the curbing of the practice over-all). Hopefully more support steps up so that companies can’t just be avoidant and must instead evolve their practices to be more healthy.

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Arktouros

Here’s the thing. They’re never going to evolve their practices to be more healthy.

We saw this with Subscriptions in MMOs. People weaponized subscriptions to demand changes or to protest a particular set of decisions. Did the companies take a good, heartfelt look at their decisions and decide to change things? Fuck no. They adopted the F2P business model and monetized the shit out of the minority of the player base while giving a big old middle finger to all those people who tried to fuck with their business model. So you can get companies to change for sure but you have basically no effect on how that company is going to change.

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Robert Mann

Basically, the only way to ensure good change is to vote with our wallets. However, that’s a definite problem, because we have millions who just say “But I want to play X, even if it’s the least ethical wallet destroying thing ever!”

harbinger_kyleran
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harbinger_kyleran

Makes sense, mobile games live by their cash shops, hamper them too much and it becomes an easier decision for companies to just walk away.

Belgium gamers are still probably better off for it in the long run.

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Armsbend

I’d do the same exact thing.

But SE is basically a non-player now – so who cares really.

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Arcanum Zero

Breaking News: Square Enix does something against its players’ best interests; film at 11–

–a.m. and p.m.–

every day

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Arktouros

Player compensation should be a letter with a link to contact their local government representative and tell them this is what they voted for. Preferably with the theme for Curb your Enthusiasm playing.

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duxxors

You can add Final Fantasy Brave Exvius to the list. Belgium users have until Dec 3.

https://lapis-prod-staticnews-gumi-sg.akamaized.net/prod//en/content/2018112BelgiumAdvisory.html

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Schmidt.Capela

Square-Enix was battered with bad news in its recent financial report. It lost $33M in the studio that made Final Fantasy XV and is cancelling most of the remaining planned DLC for that game as the director for the game resigned, and it faced lower sales and revenues in all segments, in particular mobile and PC.

For my part, I don’t purchase anything form Square-Enix anymore due to DRM. On the Mobile front they decided to use some strange DRM that requires the player to always be online, which actually makes the games literally useless for me as I only play mobile games in places where I don’t have Internet access, and since they don’t tell on the store page which titles use that DRM I assume all of them use it; on the PC, Square-Enix is using Denuvo on all its new titles, and I don’t purchase anything that includes this crapware.