Physical sales are almost a third lower for NBA 2K20 compared with NBA 2K19, but it’s the first time a basketball video game has secured the top spot. Number crunching is all very well and good, but the writing is on the wall for the latest game, as NBA 2K20’s review score on Steam is ‘Overwhelmingly Negative’.
Hundreds of players have review bombed NBA 2K20, expressing discontentment at the game's prolific microtransactions. The NBA 2K20 MyTeam trailer showed the casino-style features coming to the game, and it accumulated over 19,000 dislikes before 2K Games chose to unlist the trailer. After a complaint was sent about NBA 2K20’s PEGI 3 age rating, PEGI stated it would not apply the gambling descriptor to the game because the features are ‘simply part of the general storyline’. Of the player reviews on Steam, only 16 per cent are positive.
One reviewer called it, ‘Microtransaction extravaganza 2020,’ and another was acidly critical: ‘They put a basketball minigame in one of the best gambling simulator game on Steam!’ NBA 2K19 loot boxes were removed from Belgium and The Netherlands editions of the game, as they violate gambling laws in these countries. There is no similar legislation here, and the Gambling Commission chief executive said that loot boxes are not a form of gambling. As such, players will have to steer clear of casino-style features, though this may detrimentally affect their experience of the game in its entirety.
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