Take-Two is facing a lawsuit over NBA 2K loot boxes and microtransactions
Take-Two Interactive is facing legal action over the presence of loot boxes in its NBA 2K and VC games. The virtual currency players use to purchase them. The costume does not belong to the newest game in the series. NBA 2K22 notes that games in the series are offered at standard purchase prices, but encourage players to spend even more on other in-game content.
“The fixed price model where customers buy NBA 2K to access its content is deceptive. As customers assume they will have an all-round gaming experience once they make a transaction. Only to find that the game is littered with microtransactions that players need. Including minors. to get ahead and compete in the game,” the suit reads.
The problem, however, is not just the availability of post-purchase content, but how Take-Two offers it. Content purchases must be made using VC, which can be earned through gameplay, but is “a complex, time-consuming, and inconsistent process”. This encourages players to simply buy the venture capital they want, the lawsuit alleges, while discounts offered on large venture capital purchases encourage them to spend more than they might need.
The very nature of venture capital is also a problem, according to the lawsuit, because it “psychologically distances the player” from the amount of real money they have invested in the game, “cutting off real money spending from products that players end up with.” buy with their venture capitalists.”
“This is especially true for minors, who may not have a clear understanding of the correlation between the amount of real money and venture capital spent,” the lawsuit says. “These transactions are especially expensive as the player has already spent up to $99.99 to purchase the game. And then forced to make microtransactions, further pushing their total value up to an exorbitant price to pay for a single video game.”
The ease and convenience of the VC buying process, as well as DLC prices that are not in line with VC packages (thereby ensuring that buyers always need a little more than what they have on hand), are also cited as factors influencing case, as well as the absence or obfuscation of the VC return policy.
Of course, the loot boxes themselves are also the subject of criticism. The lawsuit states that each loot box contains a randomized set of items. And that chances are hidden by “luring players into making more. And more purchases in case their next loot box contains an item or player card they looking for.”
The plaintiff in the case is a minor, who is represented by his guardian. Who seeks recognition of the claim as a class action. The lawsuit asks for actual. And compensatory damages at trial but states that the plaintiff “probably seeks more than $5 million in damages” plus costs. The full version of the lawsuit is available at classaction.orgI have reached out to Take-Two for comment and will let you know if I get a response.