Sun. Jan 26th, 2020

NBA 2K20 arrives surrounded by controversy to include gambling

The basketball simulator of 2K Games NBA 2K20 arrives wrapped with a new controversy this friday to Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch Y PC. Last week, the game distributor posted a trailer focusing on mode My team, a variant of the game in which each user creates their own NBA team to compete against others. The way itself has not raised complaints among the community of players, the problem is that the video show more games of chance than basketball games.

In the less than two minutes that the trailer lasts they see random loot boxes with letters, machines of pachinko
, slot machine Y roulette. All these games of chance taken directly from casinos and bookmakers are within a sports video game recommended for people over three years old, according to the European age classification agency PEGI. The controversy in social networks has caused 2K Games to remove the English version of the trailer from YouTube, although the Spanish one is still available on the official channel of the distributor.


All these systems revolve around the player card envelopes. Opening envelopes is the fastest way to get new – and better – players for your team, even by gambling. Outside of video games, these types of practices are limited according to which users and you must be over 18 years old to play. But NBA 2K20 makes available to children (remember that you can play from three years) all an online casino with roulettes and slots.

NBA 2K20 is one of the best basketball simulators that exist in video games, but, containing so many games of chance and casino, it can be a danger. If the slots and roulettes are limited to adults it is because they are addictive and can encourage gambling. Some countries, such as
, have begun to regulate these mechanics and systems by consider that they are games of chance. In the
, for example, a few months ago the Republican senator Josh Hawley He proposed a law to end loot boxes and micropayments in video games.

Last year, 2K Games modified the operation of the NBA 2K19 loot boxes in Belgium
to adapt them to your legislation, since the government equated them with other typical games of casinos and bookmakers. To return the game to legality, they eliminated the possibility of buying envelopes in real money using MyEquipment mode.

The European body responsible for classifying videogames by recommended ages PEGI has ruled on this controversy. In a filtered email and verified by Eurogamer, those responsible for PEGI stated that “A video game has the descriptor of betting content if it contains animated images that incite and / or teach how to use games of chance that develop as traditional bets”.

Screenshot of the NBA 2K20 trailer

Screenshot of the NBA 2K20 trailer
(2K Games)

According to PEGI, NBA 2K20 does not enter this classification because it "does not cover games where bets are simply part of the overall story." For PEGI not to recommend this title to young children it should teach or encourage the player to Bet real money in real life. Although PEGI could change its assessment depending on how the final game is.

For years these practices exist in many large budget video games, since they are mechanics that generate a lot of income for companies. It is not the first time that they star in a controversy in social networks, it already happened with Star Wars: Battlefron II or with the mode FIFA Ultimate Team (both titles of Electronic Arts). What has bothered a large part of the player community is how 2K Games shows an online casino in a game for over three years.

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