Loot boxes have become a divisive issue within gaming over the last decade, with some countries going so far as to ban games that feature the mechanic.

The Netherlands and Belgium have enacted laws that crack down on games with loot box elements, and the newest game in the 'Diablo' franchise appears to fall foul of the authorities in the Benelux nations.

Dutch gaming site Tweakers.net was the first to report the news, and cited an email sent to them by Activision Blizzard's community manager for the region.

The email stated the game would not be available on mobile or PC owing to "the current operating conditions for games in those countries."

Per gameindustry.biz, a statement by a Blizzard employee shared to the Diablo Immortal subreddit stated that players in the two countries won't be able to download the game due to said restrictions on loot boxes.

"The loot boxes in the game are against the law in your country, so unless the gambling restrictions change, the game will not be released in the Netherlands and Belgium," the post read.

The post went on to say: "If you manage to run the game I cannot guarantee that you will not be banned for it."

Belgian and Dutch gamers won't be able to play 'Diablo Immortal'

Belgium became the first nation in the world to ban loot boxes in 2018, in a move that was welcomed by consumers but despised by publishers.

The controversy surrounding 'Star Wars Battlefront II' was a major source of contention among gamers and journalists upon launch in 2017, with the game accused of locking iconic 'Star Wars' characters such as Darth Vader behind loot boxes, and is widely seen as a major blow to the mechanic.

Most notably, the Ultimate Team mode in the 'FIFA' games is banned in Belgium as that game mode is heavily predicated on loot box mechanics.

Then-Belgian Minister for Justice Koen Geens said that mixing gaming and gambling was "dangerous for mental health."

Loot boxes are a major source of revenue for game developers, but the ban on loot boxes has by and large been welcomed by gamers.

Belgian gaming journalist Ronald Meeus told the BBC in 2019 that Belgian gamers were "actually supportive of the ban."

"Gamers tend to see it as something dishonest, and something that can create a competitive advantage inside the game," he said.

'Diablo Immortal' has had a rocky path to launch, with the game ridiculed by gaming media and fans following its announcement at BlizzCon 2018, and the game's choice to include microtransactions and loot boxes has been met with strong opposition from fans.

'Diablo' general manager Rod Fergusson has assuaged fears that the game will devolve into pay-to-win tedium, claiming "you can play every aspect of this game for free."

"You can play the entire campaign for free, you can play raids and the Cycle of Strife and everything, for free. And we’re going to support it with new zones and dungeons and new character classes post-launch for free," he said in an interview with PCGN.

'Diablo Immortal' will release on June 2nd.