In a lawsuit over loot boxes in NBA 2K, publisher Take-Two has been accused of "unfair, deceptive and unlawful practices".
As reported by Bloomberg (via GamesIndustry.biz), the lawsuit was filed on behalf of a minor and their guardian at the Winnebago Country Circuit Court in January, before moving to the Illinois Northern District Court a month later.
Loot boxes, widely linked to gambling, are featured in the best-selling NBA 2K series of basketball games.
The lawsuit states: "Defendant's unfair, deceptive and unlawful practices, including illegal gambling practices, deceive, mislead and harm consumers."
Loot boxes "psychologically distance" players from the financial consequences, according to the complainant, especially as (for minors) they're often paid for using a parent's credit card.
They appear desirable, but minors may not understand the link between virtual and real-world spending, or know that in-game purchases are non-refundable.
At least $5m in damages have been requested by the plaintiff.
A Take-Two spokesperson declined to comment to Bloomberg.
Research from April last year claimed a "robustly verified" link between loot boxes and gambling, and that they are "structurally and psychologically" similar.
Loot boxes have been used widely in the FIFA series, something EA chief experience officer Chris Bruzzo discussed with Eurogamer back in October.