Konami has recently posted a statement reporting that they will no longer be selling Pro Evolution Soccer 2019‘s in-game currency in Belgium. This change comes half a month after EA made similar changes to their own soccer game FIFA 2019.
The sale of myCoins, the currency used in Pro Evolution Soccer 2019, will stop on all platforms (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam) after the”necessary preparations are made.” Players will keep any myCoins they’ve previously purchased, and they can still be earned through gameplay. The only difference is that they can’t spend real money to buy them anymore.
In their statement, Konami said they “fully respect the BGC’s interpretation of relevant laws and made the decision to implement local changes to “PES 2019″ in Belgium.”
Last year, the Belgian Gambling Commission looked at four games (Overwatch, Star Wars Battlefront 2, FIFA ’18, and CS:GO.) They deemed the loot boxes in three of those games a game of chance and thus subject to Belgian gambling laws (Battlefront 2 wasn’t in violation since the loot boxes had been removed prior to the investigation due to fan backlash.) Following the ruling, the game’s companies pulled their loot boxes or the ability to purchase currency from the Belgian versions of their games. EA, the makers of the FIFA series of soccer games, are of particular note here because they almost got into a legal scuffle with Belgium until they relented and removed the ability to buy FIFA points from their game in Belgium half a month ago.
From what we know so far, it doesn’t seem like the Belgian Gambling Commission took any direct action or contacted Konami about their games. However, given the Commission’s recent bout with EA, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine Konami could see the writing on the wall and preemptively decided to make the change.