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Take-Two says virtual currencies are “fictions” in NBA 2K lawsuit defense

A curious line of defense
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Back in November 2023, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Take-Two Interactive and 2K Games, the companies behind series like NBA 2K, WWE 2K, and PGA Tour 2K. The lawsuit accused them of “civil theft” and “unfair business practices” due to 2K’s practice of shutting down the servers for its older games very quickly after a successor launched, rendering any virtual currency bought by players that remained unused in those older titles completely useless.

It argued that 2K should allow users to transfer their currency to the newer titles, at the very least, and named Call of Duty as an example for a successful franchise doing this.

As spotted by Stephen Totilo, Take-Two is currently trying to get the lawsuit dismissed. Lawyers representing the company are arguing that “VC is not plaintiff’s property.”

A digital representation of Lakers' star Kobe Bryant is throwing a basketball toward a hoop, wearing a purple Lakers' jersey

The NBA 2K games have been under fire for their monetization for a while now.

“Instead, in-game VC are fictions created by game publishers, subject to the publishers’ terms of service and user agreements,” they wrote.

This is an interesting line of defense for Take-Two in particular, since previous lawsuits filed by the company against GTA 5 cheat providers were in part successful due to the provided unlimited currency cheats undermining the sale of “legitimate” virtual currency by Take-Two. Sure thing – the lawyers are doing their job by arguing whatever protects their client. Nevertheless, it’s a little bit confusing how virtual currency from the same company can both be “fictional” and “legitimate” at the same time.

Ethically, this is a pretty clear cut case. Legally, of course, the issue might be a lot thornier.