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2K Games has issued a press release that the in-game purchases system in NBA 2K loot boxes has been declared to comply with Belgian gambling laws.
“Specifically, we will be turning off the ability to purchase packs with premium (non-earned) currency/[Virtual Currency],” reads a 2K statement. “Gamers are still able to acquire packs with MyTeam points.”
MyTeam is an NBA 2K mode in which players attempt to build the best custom team possible. One way to acquire players to build out your team is through purchasing packs of randomized cards. That loot box-type mechanic, however, would be in violation of Belgian gambling laws, which is why 2K has dropped it in Belgium.
2K’s statement about the change makes it clear the company doesn’t agree with the Belgium government’s views on loot boxes. The publisher even went so far as to encourage gamers who share its views to lobby their government representatives about them.
“We will be continuing conversations with the [Belgian Gaming Commission] in order to explain our view on how NBA 2K and MyTeam pack purchases already comply with local laws,” continues the statement. “If you agree, we recommend that you contact your local government representative to communicate your opinion.”
Belgium declared loot box mechanics like MyTeam illegal in April. It wasn’t the only country to do so, either, as the Netherlands started enforcing its own loot box laws in June, spurring Valve to make Dota 2 loot box contents visible before being opened. Both Electronic Arts and Microsoft games have also recently seen loot box changes in response to the new laws and the consumer outrage that inspired them.
Source: European Gaming Industry News