It is no secret that Belgium has taken a strong stance on predatory microtransactions in video games. Belgium passed a law that saw major publishers having to pull RNG based microtransactions from their games. This has affected many publishers and developers, from Activision with Call of Duty, Blizzard with Overwatch and Valve with CS: Go. 2k, however, has taken a somewhat interesting stance on the issue. 2k released a statement stating that NBA 2K19 would not feature loot boxes in Belgium. With the games, upcoming release loot boxes would be removed as 2K would face major fines or run the risk of not being able to stock the game in stores in Belgium. 2K disagree’s with the Belgium Gambling Commission’s stance that loot boxes are gambling and had this to say.
“While we disagree with this position, we are working to comply with the BGC’s current interpretation of these laws. As a result, we made some local changes to the MyTeam mode. These changes are necessary for the purposes of the BGC’s interpretation of the Belgian Gaming Act. Specifically, we will be able to buy and buy coupons (not earned) currency / VC. Gamers are still able to acquire myTeam points. We will be continuing conversations with the BGC in order to explain our view. If you agree, we recommend that you contact your local government representative. We will keep the community posted on any developments. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
To break it down, essentially 2k is imploring its audience in Belgium to speak and defend loot box microtransactions. It is laughable to think after the mountain of controversy surrounding games like Shadow of War and Star War’s Battlefront II that many gamers would stand with 2K on this issue. That being said, stranger things have happened. It will be interesting to see how the gaming audience handles this issue.
What do you think about loot boxes? Are they gambling or just harmless extra monetization for the developers? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check back for the latest news and information.