NBA 2K20 Has Casino-Themed Loot Boxes, But Somehow Isn’t Gambling (VIDEO)
The latest 2K Sports title NBA 2K20 is currently readying for release on PC and consoles, offering a number of new highlights such as updated rosters, improved player customization, and a story mode featuring the likes of film actor Idris Elba. However, with only a few days left before release, another inclusion has become the most prominent among the bunch, the game’s MyTeam mode, a feature recently shown off in an infamous trailer over the past week.
MyTeam, a mode centered around creating and managing custom NBA teams, took an evidently off-putting approach when laying out the mode’s features–putting gameplay in the backseat to spotlight various casino-themed loot boxes included in NBA 2K20. As one might expect in this microtransaction-weary day and age, the showcase hasn’t exactly sat well with gamers, the mode’s blatant use of slot machines and roulette wheels leading to widespread accusations of implementing gambling mechanics.
While the MyTeam trailer (seen above) would appear to indicate an aggressive depiction of gambling–especially for a game intended for all ages–the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) rating board has surprisingly concluded otherwise. In a response email (via Eurogamer), PEGI addressed the controversy insisting NBA 2K20 has not directly encouraged players, children or otherwise, to participate in gambling, and for that reason, will not reflect any of these casino-like elements in the game’s rating.
“We have seen the announcement trailer of NBA 2K20 and noticed the controversy it has caused,” the statement reads. “We feel it is important to carefully explain when certain content is triggering the gambling descriptor in the PEGI system, but also to show when it does not at this moment. A video game gets the gambling content descriptor if it contains moving images that encourage and/or teach the use of games of chance that are played/carried out as a traditional means of gambling.”
It is important to stress that the controversial imagery played a central role in the trailer, but it may not necessarily do so in the game, which has not yet been released.”
Though PEGI’s response essentially gives NBA 2K20 the benefit of the doubt (at least, for right now), the rating board assured they aren’t oblivious to the game’s questionable content, acknowledging the presence of virtual gambling machines “may get too close for comfort for some people.” With this in mind, the organization confirmed they are in the midst of an “internal discussion” designed to ensure current and future games industry developments “are reflected in our classification criteria.”
“We are very aware that it may get too close for comfort for some people, and that is part of an internal discussion that PEGI is having for the moment,”continues the statement. “The games industry is evolving constantly (and rapidly in recent years). As a rating organization, we need to ensure that these developments are reflected in our classification criteria. We do not base our decisions on the content of a single trailer, but we will properly assess how the rating system (and the video games industry in general) should address these concerns.”
NBA 2K20 releases for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 6th.
What do you think? Are you baffled by the inclusion of loot box slot machines in NBA 2K20, or does PEGI’s response actually make a fair amount of sense? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:
Eric Hall1838 Posts
Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his weekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.