The growing lootbox controversy continues to cause a stir in both the gaming and the legal community. Many major game development companies have been forced to disable paid lootboxes which contain randomly generated loot, particularly in European countries. 2K Games, the company popular for the NBA and WWE series, complied with the order and removed paid lootboxes from their upcoming game NBA 2K19. Today, however, 2K released a statement asking their fans to contact their government and regarding the lootbox fiasco.
In the statement, 2K says that they want their fans in Belgium to appeal the ban. Recently, the Belgian Gaming Commission declared lootboxes in video games illegal on the basis of gambling laws in the country. “While we disagree with this position, we are working to comply with the BGC’s current interpretation of these laws,” states 2K. “As a result, we have made some local changes to the MyTeam mode.”
Similar to what many games have done, such as Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm, 2K will be removing the ability to purchase in-game packs using premium real world currency. The actual packs, however, won’t be removed from the game and will still be available to purchase using MyTeam points.
“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. If you agree, we recommend that you contact your local government representative to communicate your opinion.”
Although this may be considered a bold statement, especially considering its coming from a big firm like 2K, it seems that the company really doesn’t want to remove microtransactions. Only lootboxes which do not disclose their percentages of item drops are considered illegal in the country. 2K says that they will continue to post updates if there are any developments regarding the situation.