Gamers are miffed about the ESRB defending their E for everyone rating for NBA 2K20 despite its employment of "gambling."
NBA 2K20 came out earlier this month, and fans haven't been particularly happy with the instalment so far. Aside from technical issues, the biggest point of contention as of writing is its employment of "gambling," for which the ESRB has been slammed by gamers as "corrupt" for defending their E for everyone rating.
#FireRonnie2K and #FixNBA2K20 were both trending not too long ago for supposed 'false advertising' and because of a myriad of glitches such as MyPlayer names not appearing on the back of jerseys.
Now the majority of negative tweets concerning the game are about the ESRB and their defence of the game's gambling elements. This was a major point of contention before the game's launch, and the stance of gamers hasn't softened.
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NBA 2K20 and gambling
Prior to its launch, NBA 2K20 received a lot of criticism for releasing the trailer above. As you can see just by watching it, the trailer presents the game as a gross Casino.
As of writing, this trailer has a whopping 32K dislikes with only 3.7K upvotes. The above trailer garnered negative coverage from gamesindustry.biz, as well as hugely influential YouTubers such as Jim Sterling, Yong Yea and Angry Joe.
The Casino mechanics resulted in a lot of fans asking Pegi how they still gave the game a 3 age rating despite the promotion of loot boxes and Casinos.
Per Eurogamer, Pegi defended their decision by insisting that the game cannot be classified as gambling because it does not teach players how to gamble or bet.
Although this can be debated, the game doesn't technically include gambling as players don't wager real money in the slot machines, wheel of fortune or pachinko mini-games. Plus, the winnings are only in-game content that can be earned through gameplay.
Aside from Pegi, another point of contention was the ESRB not even assigning a Simulated Gambling description (via Polygon).
This has again prompted criticism from gamers, especially following their copy and paste response to several e-mails.
@ESRBRatings Seems like corporate ties have created a conflict of interest within the ESRB. NBA 2K20 needs to be rated T for teen for simulated gambling BY YOUR OWN STANDARDS— jason barebo (@xboxmrstitch627) September 18, 2019
NBA 2K20 fans slam ESRB for defending E for everyone rating
The ESRB has responded to several emails from gamers asking how NBA 2K20 is rated E for everyone when it features "gambling."
Basically, the ESRB's response to every email is pretty much copy and pasted:
This has prompted accusations that the ESRB is "shameless, corrupt," and that age classifications have failed the gaming industry by allowing children to play titles with gambling in them.
This is straight up bs. There's absolutely no excuse for a game with a fully functioning casino to not be rated AO. Yet here we find ourselves time and time again. What's next? Pajama Sam? Freddi Fish? No. This is beyond being inexcusable and unacceptable.https://t.co/RNUqoO0w74— Nicholas Whittemore (@irocsiv) September 19, 2019
The ESRB's response to NBA2k20's gambling bullshit is, quite frankly, a bad joke. Like a really really bad joke— Mr. Self Destruct (@Sekretsu) September 19, 2019
So PEGI/ESRB gave NBA2K20 an “E for everyone” rating because they believe that there’s no gambling in the game despite there being actual slot machines.— Quilver (@Quilvers) September 17, 2019
If we’re going by that logic, any chance we can have an E rating(Not E10+) for Pokemon so we can get the Game Corner back? pic.twitter.com/hFJ0bWr9PX
Dear ESRB,— StCerberusEngel (@StCerberusEngel) September 17, 2019
Its now been 2.5 weeks without reply, can you respond to the Ratings disparity for the Simulated Gambling in NBA2K20? @ESRBRatings
This is not an "E for Everyone" game, its at minimum "T for Teen" by your own Rules. Can you explain how this game passed evaluation? pic.twitter.com/ecMIYZHAzs
Angry Joe and Yong Yea have given damning responses, and a lot of gamers on Twitter have stressed that they're going to continue with their complaints as titles with loot boxes and "gambling" should at least be rated Teen.
SEE ALSO: NBA 2K20 1.03 38GB update: How to fix 'MyPlayer name missing' glitch!
NBA 2K20 is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
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