2K Games had to change some key gameplay features in NBA 2K19 for Belgian and Dutch fans recently. This was due to the Belgium government banning loot boxes as it’s not compliant with their gambling laws. The loot box controversy was not one they expected as the United Kingdom does not consider loot boxes as gambling. Consequently, the video game developer is reaching out to their Belgian and Dutch fans to get the government to allow loot boxes again.
The Belgian Gaming Commission stated in their study of loot boxes, “If there is a game element, a bet can lead to profit or loss and chance has a role in the game”. You can find the full press release here but we had to use Google Translate since it wasn’t in English. The government decided to ban loot boxes since there isn’t enough protection for the players.
On the other hand, 2K Games believe that their loot boxes do not go against the laws in Belgium. Hence the reason why they are continuing to have conversations with Belgian officials to find a middle ground that can benefit both parties. “If you agree, we recommend you contact your local government representative to communicate your opinion,” was 2K’s plea to the fans.
NBA 2K19 producer says “it is an unfortunate reality of modern gaming.”
In an interview with Trusted Reviews, NBA 2K19 senior producer, Rob Jones gave the statement above. He added, “Every game, at some point, in some way has currency and they’re trying to get additional revenue from each player that plays the game.”
Hence, it is quite unlikely that 2K will just let this pass. As a company, they stand to lose a substantial amount of revenue with the removal of microtransaction. Jones said, “We know nowadays that most people don’t have the patience to work their way to the top. They just wanna be there right away.” Therefore, the company prefers to think of it as an easier way for players to get to where they want to be.
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