The NBA 2k games are considered excellent basketball simulations with the lousiest micro-transactions found on the gaming market. Clothes, abilities, and players for the online team – all this can and should be additionally bought in the NBA-2k full-price titles. The new offshoot NBA 2k20, which was released last week, is causing so much annoyance that the entertainment software self-control (USK) has apparently been flooded with complaints.
At the center of the excitement are mainly loot boxes and game elements in which in-game items are unlocked, for example via a simulated one-armed bandit or roulette. Developer 2K Games stylized this in a trailer for the big entertainment. Despite such gambling components, the USK has released NBA 2k20 without age restriction and thus for children. The simple rationale: "Simulated Gambling" is not part of the USK Leading Criteria and is therefore not included in the classification – neither in NBA 2k20 nor in the many other video games that incorporate such elements. That writes the USK in a blog entry, in which NBA 2k20 is explicitly mentioned.
No part of the guiding criteria
"Currently, simulated gambling is not part of the USK's guiding criteria, as this aspect of the necessary and necessary scope of the Youth Protection Act was not to be given any particular weight or risk of developmental impairment," states the USK. The fact that games such as NBA 2k20 are "simulated" rather than "real" gambling is due to the fact that the won items usually have no monetary value.
For months it has been discussed whether Lootboxes – virtual packages with randomly generated content – should be considered as a game of chance. The legal situation differs depending on the nation: In Belgium, for example, loot boxes in FIFA have been classified as illegal gambling – with tangible consequences for developers and players. Just a year ago, 16 national authorities committed themselves to taking a closer look at gambling elements in video games. The state authorities responsible for gambling in Germany were missing in the statement.
The increased pressure has already shown effect: The US-American video game association ESA has committed itself to reveal the chance of winning individual items at Lootboxen. Anyone who develops games for Playstation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch must adhere to this requirement. This is at best a compromise solution. Lootboxing can still be found in big games like FIFA, Assassin's Creed and NBA 2k. The often paid Lootboxen apply to developers as extremely lucrative.
The USK admits in its blog entry that the guidelines derived from the youth protection law may no longer be up-to-date. The discussion about Lootboxen and other gambling-like elements in video games is known, writes the testing center. "We will evaluate this in the relevant committees and committees."
In the UK, the time to play games with children's gambling elements could soon be over. According to a report prepared by a committee of the British House of Commons, games with buyable loot boxes can be considered as gambling. You should get an appropriate age rating, the committee recommends.
. (tagsToTranslate) Gambling (t) Lootboxing (t) NBA 2K (t) Regulation (t) Games