Take-Two, creators of the NBA 2K video game franchise, are facing a $5 million class-action lawsuit over the use of in-game loot boxes.
Loot boxes have been highly controversial in the monetization of various games, from FIFA 22’s Ultimate Team pack system to Overwatch’s loot boxes.
Ultimate Team packs differ from the implementation of loot boxes in NBA 2K, however, with the likes of reward packs, slot machines, pachinko, and prize wheels featuring in Take-Two’s game.
Though, Electronic Arts was previously hit with a similar class-action lawsuit in Canada, back in October 2020, where the use of FUT packs was branded as an “illegal” gambling system.
NBA 2K publishers face $5m lawsuit over loot boxes
Fast forward two years and similar allegations are being leveled at the creators of NBA 2K, with a minor and her guardian suing the publishers for alleged “unfair, deceptive, and unlawful practices.”
As reported by Bloomberg, the complaint was first filed on January 11 at Winnebago County Circuit Court, though on February 25 it was moved to Illinois Northern District Court.
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The lawsuit alleges that the loot boxes “psychologically distance” young players from spending through the use of in-game currency. The plaintiff is requesting a minimum of $5 million in damages.
Loot boxes have become an integral part of Take-Two’s monetization strategy for NBA 2K – a game series that has a tremendous amount of active players.
According to the publisher’s 2021 annual report, NBA 2K21 sold over 10 million copies and an average of 2 million players jumped into the game daily.
The publisher’s digitally-delivered net bookings, for which NBA 2K21 played a key role, also amounted to $3.1 billion in fiscal 2021.