NBA 2K publisher sued for $5 million over loot boxes

NBA 2K series publisher Take-Two has been sued over loot boxes.

Earlier today on March 7, Bloomberg (opens in new tab) reported that Take-Two was the subject of a class-action lawsuit. Filed in Illinois earlier this year, the lawsuit accuses Take-Two of “unfair, deceptive and unlawful practices,” stemming from the use of loot boxes in the NBA 2K series of basketball games.

The complainant alleges that loot boxes “psychologically distance” the player from the true financial nature of their spending on said items. The plaintiff is requesting at least $5 million USD in damages from Take-Two, claiming that minors, who often purchase loot boxes with their parent’s credit cards, are particularly vulnerable.

A Take-Two spokesperson declined any comment to Bloomberg regarding the ongoing legal proceedings.

Scrutiny around loot boxes has been going on for a fair while now. Back in April 2020, for example, the North American ESRB board announced it would call out loot boxes in games going forward, stressing the random nature of the purchases. Games that sold anything for real world money, no matter if they were loot boxes or not, were all slapped with the new warning from the ratings board.

More recently, EA has been on the defensive surrounding the use of loot boxes in FIFA’s Ultimate Team mode. EA’s chief experience officer Chris Bruzzo spoke about loot boxes in an interview last October, claiming that they mirror the economics of “real world football” and enable “player choice.” Bruzzo compared the ability to purchase game-affecting items like players for real world money as being “just like real world football.”

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