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UPDATE: The PEGI (Pan European Game Information) video game content ratings board has responded to the backlash to the recent NBA 2K20 trailer, admitting it has sparked “internal discussion” as to how gambling-like content is handled in games. Last week’s trailer was basically an advertisement for NBA 2K20’s many and varied types of monetisation schemes, including card packs, slot machines, loot boxes, roulette, and pachinko machines.
2K actually brought the trailer down after the backlash caused it to get ratio’d to hell and back. Don’t worry though, some enterprising souls have re-uploaded it so, if you’ve missed this spectacle then you can see it for yourself below.
The trailer is an embarrassment to be honest, particularly from a $60 game. 2K Sports hasn’t said a word about the controversy though, simply pulling the trailer down once the criticism mounted up. PEGI has responded though, defending the 3+ age rating it’s dished out to NBA 2K20 while admitting it “may get too close for comfort for some people” and it has led to “internal discussions”.
However, they’re still sticking by their decision to allow 3-year-olds to play virtual slots, wheel of fortune, and various other casino-centric gameplay mechanics as it doesn’t explicitly teach children how to gamble. Right-o.
“We have seen the announcement trailer of NBA 2K20 and noticed the controversy it has caused. We feel it is important to carefully explain when certain content is triggering the gambling descriptor in the PEGI system, but also to show when it does not at this moment,” reads the statement from PEGI Consumer Affairs.
“A video game gets the gambling content descriptor if it contains moving images that encourage and/or teach the use of games of chance that are played/carried out as a traditional means of gambling.
“We use a help text to clarify this in more detail: This refers to types of betting or gambling for money that is normally played/carried out in casinos, gambling halls, racetracks. This does not cover games where betting or gambling is simply part of the general storyline. The game must actually teach the player how to gamble or bet and/or encourage the player to want to gamble or bet for money in real life.
“For example, this will include games that teach the player how to play card games that are usually played for money or how to play the odds in horse racing.
“It is important to stress that the controversial imagery played a central role in the trailer, but it may not necessarily do so in the game, which has not yet been released.
“At this point in time, PEGI can only comment on the trailer that has been made publicly available.
“The trailer includes imagery that is generally known from casinos (wheel of fortune, slot machines). Using this sort of mechanic to select an item, or character, or action by chance is not the same as teaching how to gamble for money in a casino. These differences currently prevent us from applying the gambling descriptor. But we are very aware that it may get too close for comfort for some people, and that is part of an internal discussion that PEGI is having for the moment. The games industry is evolving constantly (and rapidly in recent years). As a rating organisation, we need to ensure that these developments are reflected in our classification criteria. We do not base our decisions on the content of a single trailer, but we will properly assess how the rating system (and the video games industry in general) should address these concerns.”
Original Story: 28-Aug-2019 – NBA 2K20’s new trailer has card packs, slot machines, loot boxes, roulette, and pachinko
Some trailers are so good you’ve just got to watch them twice. Like that one for The Lighthouse, did you see that thing? Masterful trailer. The new trailer for NBA 2K20 is so amazing I’ve watched it three times now though. Take that, Robert Eggers.
It’s taken me three watches because I spent half my time watching it wondering whether it was some elaborate parody. A giant in-joke that was all about correcting the wrongs of NBA 2K19, a long list which includes unskippable in-game adverts, tons of microtransactions, an immense grind wall, and card packs, glorious card packs.
So, for NBA 2K20, 2K and Visual Concepts (against their will, no doubt) has gathered up all the fan complaints, said a swift f–k you, and burned them, placing them in an urn on LeBron James’s shelf.
2K is so fascinatingly tone deaf to what’s going on in the industry right now it’s a little absurd. Everywhere you look, publishers are climbing down from loot boxes and gambling mechanisms, looking over their shoulders at the long arm of the law. Heck, some countries have already outlawed loot crates.
But 2K? Well, 2K just dropped a new ‘trailer’ for NBA 2K20 which shows off card packs, loot crates, pachinko machines, roulette wheels, and full-blown slot machines, all tied up neatly with a premium currency bow. Good luck arguing your games aren’t gambling when you’ve got all that going on.
Anyway, enjoy this little masterpiece for yourself.
What are your thoughts on NBA 2K20’s latest trailer then? Does this have you licking your lips in anticipation of NBA 2K20’s September 6th release date, or are you giving this particular money pit a wide berth? Let us know what you think below!