Belgian customers will no longer be able to purchase in-game card packs for NBA 2K’s “My Team” mode with real money. In compliance with Belgian gambling laws, the “feature” was removed from all iterations of the series to keep the games on store shelves. In a statement made to press, 2K Games said, “While we disagree with this position, we are working to comply with the BGC’s current interpretation of these laws. We will be continuing conversations with the BGC in order to explain our view on how NBA 2K and MyTeam pack purchases already comply with local laws.”
In addition to Belgium, Dutch versions of the game have also had microtransactions removed. The Kansspelautoriteit’s (Netherlands’ gaming authority) stance is that any kind of loot box mechanic is in violation of the country’s gambling laws, so 2K Games has forced to remove the feature. 2K Games told GamesIndustry.biz, “We will be continuing conversations with the Kansspelautoriteit in order to explain our view of how NBA 2K and the Auction House will comply with local laws.”
2K Games is urging players that are upset to contact their local government officials and voice their opinions. I don’t think you’ll find many people that want to defend microtransactions, but I appreciate fighting for what you believe is right. They might want to prepare for disappointment, though.