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NBA 2K19 issues permanent ban for using auction house correctly

2K Sports
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NBA 2K19

Questionable practices are being alleged against 2K. An NBA 2K19 player says he was perma banned for correctly using the auction house system the company implemented in their new marquee basketball game - with no warning attached.

2K found themselves in a massive PR blunder during NBA 2K18's lifespan due to an extremely predatory microtransaction system. While NBA 2K19 looked like a step forward, it definitely fell short in customer support as evidenced by a Reddit user going by the name Xx_FreeWitty_xX.

Apparently, the user in question got banned for "auction house sniping", which was a term new to the user as well as many others. When Witty prompted the customer support, they kept providing circular arguments, without ever answering the posted questions, stating only that the player's ban could have included, but wasn't limited to auction house sniping.

Eventually, Witty's persistence partially paid off, as one of the support employees finally defined auction house sniping as an action that "can include, but is not limited to purchasing or selling cards for more or less than the average amount the card is worth".

Considering this is an auction house in question, it is rather ridiculous that undercutting or beefing up the price would be a bannable offence. On top of it, Witty was never informed that such a thing could get their account permanently banned. As it stood at the time of writing, Witty's $100 account simply went down the drain because the player used the auction house as they were supposed to - by selling items at a better price than the competition is.

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People try to modify markets to fit their needs better, that's how the system works. 2K installed such a system in their game but never warned players that manipulating the market could get them banned. The player seemingly didn't steal anything, they simply did what is possible and by all means legal to do in many other games with an auction house system, such as World of Warcraft or Guild Wars 2.

Witty's thread on Reddit caught a lot of attention and is expected to reach 2K's eyes, but it remains to be seen how they will respond to what some people are already claiming to be a predatory move in order to force players into microtransactions. You can find the thread here, or see the screenshots of Witty's exchange with customer support here.