Microtransactions and loot-boxes have a bad reputation in some countries, insofar that they are banned in Belgium and the Netherlands. Speaking of both countries, 2K Games has stepped forward to clarify actions taken with NBA 2K and what changes have been made due to the two country’s laws.
Catching wind from publication site gamesindustry.biz, it is said that Take-Two has “disabled the purchasing of card packs” that call for “premium currency in NBA 2K” in the country of Belgium.
The outlet reports that the changes Take-Two made to the game’s MyTeam mode will bring it into scope with Belgian’s gambling laws. The website quoted the company saying the following on 2k.com:
“Specifically, we will be turning off the ability to purchase packs with premium (non-earned) currency/VC. Gamers are still able to acquire packs with MyTeam points.”
The letter continues and expresses unhappiness with this position, and seeks to comply with Belgium’s so-called “interpretation of gambling” through the following:
“While we disagree with this position, we are working to comply with the BGC’s current interpretation of these laws. We will be continuing conversations with the BGC in order to explain our view on how NBA 2K and MyTeam pack purchases already comply with local laws.”
It seems that the company is displeased over the matter insofar that they don’t see any problem with randomized items in “loot-boxes” as being a controversial mechanic:
“The Belgium Gaming Commission (BGC) has stated that games which include certain ‘loot box’ style mechanics violate gambling laws in Belgium.
If you agree, we recommend that you contact your local government representative to communicate your opinion. We will keep the community posted on any developments. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
But that’s not all, Take-Two and 2K Games had to pull the card packs “with premium currency” found in the Netherlands’ version of NBA 2K — that is according to publication site Games Industry.
If you don’t know, this decision falls under the ruling of the country’s gaming authority — the Kansspelautoriteit — that titles with loot-boxes violate the Netherlands’ “gambling laws,” if the in-game items are “transferable.” 2K Games has stated that it will adhere to these laws:
“MyTeam packs can still be purchased in the normal manner. We will be continuing conversations with the Kansspelautoriteit in order to explain our view of how NBA 2K and the Auction House will comply with local laws. If you agree, we recommend that you contact your local government representative to communicate your opinion. We will keep the community posted on any developments. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
You can read the full report over on gamesindustry.biz.