Is Apex Legends, the popular new battle royale shooter game, actually part of a scheme by the Belgian Conspiracy for world domination? New developments suggest it is.
A brief overview for non-gamers: A while back, video game developers came up with the idea of a "loot box", a virtual prize box that when "opened" would have a random chance of giving the player various in-game items. Since the games that employ loot boxes tend to be multiplayer ones, these items usually involve some means to customize a player's appearance or behavior (skins, emotes, voice lines, etc.), allowing players to differentiate themselves from and show off to other players -- a desirable thing in games built around social interactions.
While often these boxes can be earned in game, that usually involves "grinding", i.e. playing the game over time to slowly earn points toward a loot box. The developers, ostensibly out of benevolence, offer players the "freedom" to bypass this grinding by paying for loot boxes with real money. At the same time, developers made their games more "grindy" by intentionally making the loot-box-earning gameplay tedious or by adding lots of unwanted in-game items that lower the chance of players winning desirable ones. All of this not only encourages impatient wealthy players ("whales" in game developer speak) to pay money to skip the grind, but triggers those susceptible to addictive gambling behavior into paying more than they can afford.
That last point has caused controversy outside of the gaming community. Governments have started to look into whether loot boxes are a form of illegal gambling (you pay real money for the chance to win a virtual profit). Some have declared that they are, and have forced game publishers to remove or alter those gambling elements in order to legally sell games in their respective jurisdictions.
At the forefront of this declaration of loot-boxes-as-gambling is Belgium, whose Gaming Commission last year determined that three popular loot-boxed games were "games of chance" and that "publishers could therefore be subject to fines and prison sentences under the country's gaming legislation".