NBA 2K’s My Team mode has seen the ability to purchase premium currency – bought with real cash – removed in both Belgium and the Netherlands, in order to comply with recent loot box rulings in the regions.
A couple of statements were posted on 2K’s My Team site for each announcement, with the Belgian version saying: “The Belgium Gaming Commission (BGC) has stated that games which include certain ‘loot box’ style mechanics violate gambling laws in Belgium. While we disagree with this position, we are working to comply with the BGC’s current interpretation of these laws.”
Said compliance comes in the form of ‘turning off the ability to purchase packs with premium (non-earned) currency’. Points earned by playing the game will still be able to be used to purchase in-game packs, meaning the function remains – the ability to purchase the random drop packs, however, is removed.
“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,” the Belgian statement continues, “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.”
The statement for the Dutch version of the game is largely the same, though with a different legal body – the Kansspelautoriteit: “We will be turning off access to the Auction House,” it says, “MyTeam packs can still be purchased in the normal manner. We will be continuing conversations with the Kansspelautoriteit in order to explain our view on how NBA 2K and the Auction House already comply with local laws.”
The move comes in the wake of the decision by the Dutch and Belgian authorities that some loot box style in-game rewards are considered gambling. Since the ruling, the likes of Valve has also moved to make required changes.
The wider debate surrounding loot boxes has resulted in the likes of Warner Bros removing them from Middle Earth: Shadow of War and Forza Motorsport 7 doing away with purchasable random rewards, while Battlefield V has been confirmed to not feature premium loot boxes.