2K In Hot Water Over Microtransactions


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It seems that 2K's run of bad luck continues, with the studio being hit with a lawsuit regarding NBA 2K microtransactions. The lawsuit targets the fact that players can't transfer Virtual Currency to new NBA 2K games, and accuses the studio of "theft".

Despite 2023 being a great year for the video games industry, 2K is by no means having the perfect year. First, NBA 2K24 received a lot of criticism from players and journalists. Then, the game missed out on a nomination to the Sports GOTY shortlist, and to top it off, the company has now been hit with a lawsuit.

But what is this lawsuit really about and how can it impact 2K and the whole video games industry? Let's find out!

What the lawsuit is all about

Take-Two Interactive, the owner of the NBA 2K Games and Rockstar Games studios, was recently hit with a lawsuit regarding NBA 2K microtransactions, as was revealed by Stephen Totilo.

The lawsuit states that 2K "doesn't let players transfer VC to their new games", is "too fast at shutting down the servers" of old games, and leaves the players with "unused VC".

NBA 2K Lawsuit
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Credit: Stephen Totilo

It's also left very clear that, while other gaming franchises such as Call Of Duty and EA FC allow fans to carry over the equivalent of VC to new titles, NBA 2K doesn't. On top of that, according to the accusing party, the company doesn't offer any explanation as to why that is the case.

In the lawsuit, we can see that words such as "theft", "theft by embezzlement", and "manipulative marketing" are used by the accusing party.

Can this force 2K to change their microtransactions model?

This is not the first lawsuit over microtransactions that NBA 2K has been hit with. It's hard to say if the accusing party will come out victorious, but they do make some great points.

We all hate microtransactions and how they have taken over the video game industry. But some companies take microtransactions to the extreme, and 2K is certainly one of them.

While gaming franchises such as Call of Duty and EA FC also have microtransactions, as was referred to above, they allow players to transfer that virtual currency to new titles.

NBA 2K24 VC
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For example, if I buy EA FC points in EA FC 24 and don't use all of them, I will have the chance to transfer them to EA FC 25. This is an option that immediately pops up once you enter the Ultimate Team mode for the first time if you have unused virtual currency from the previous title.

NBA 2K is one of the only sports titles that doesn't allow that, which doesn't make a lot of sense. It's not like 2K doesn't have the technology to make this possible, because they have, and is something many other gaming franchises have been doing, so it was expected that 2K would follow in their footsteps.

It's already hard to lose all of your cards in MyTEAM, and progress in your MyPLAYER once a new NBA 2K title is released, as you're forced to start from scratch and invest even more money if you want to be competitive.

However, this is made even harder if you can't transfer the VC you have to the next title. If you have 200K VC in NBA 2K24 and aren't able to transfer it to NBA 2K25, that will be $49.99 that you will be losing. It's not fair, it doesn't make sense and is something that 2K should address no matter the result of the lawsuit.

For more articles like this, take a look at our NBA 2K page.