Company behind GTA explains why it’s okay to take away in-game currency – even though you paid for it

Against Take-Two Interactive A class action lawsuit was filed in November 2023. This is the company that owns both GTA 6 and the basketball games NBA 2K. But there is apparently no guilt there.

Which company is it about? Take-Two Interactive is the company behind the publishers Rockstar Games and 2K Games as well as their in-house development studios. The titles from Take-Two include successful franchises such as GTA, Red Dead Redemption, BioShock and the basketball games in the “NBA 2K” series.

The first trailer for the upcoming GTA 6 caused a lot of excitement:

Rockstar Games shows GTA 6 in the trailer for the first time

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Keep your eyes open when buying VC

What’s currently going on at Take-Two? There has been a legal dispute over the 2K games since November 2023. In NBA 2K, players can use real money to purchase in-game currencies, the “Virtual Currency,” or “VC” for short. VC can then be spent on cosmetic items, performance boosters or other exclusive features.

When older versions of the series are retired, players will also lose access to their digital savings: Take-Two does not offer refunds or a way to transfer their purchased currency to a current title.

A lawsuit against 2K Games says players receive no warning when purchasing in-game currency that it can be removed at 2K Games’ discretion. Gamers would only have the option to accept their losses and top up credits in the active versions of the game if they want to continue using the pay-to-play features (via CourtListener).

You can’t steal something that doesn’t exist, says Take-Two

What does Take-Two say about this? The firm’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on February 2, 2024. The allegations of “theft” would not be valid because the in-game currency does not actually belong to the players – therefore it cannot be stolen.

According to Take-Two, in-game currencies are “fictions created by game publishers” and are therefore subject to the publisher’s user agreements. Publishers would be free to make business decisions about how their games operate and, by extension, the virtual currency that only exists within those games, according to the motion (via CourtListener).

Take-Two further argues that players got exactly what they paid for: a virtual currency that they could spend as they wished in the game.

Put simply, the company denies that players will be harmed if their digital savings disappear – they never really belonged to them anyway.

Of course, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to players that the virtual in-game currencies don’t actually belong to them, since the games themselves often don’t either. A development that gamers should get used to if an executive at Ubisoft has their way. It finally worked with other media too.