With the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic keeping schools and businesses closed and families inside their homes, video game sales have spiked as a result. Former NBA player Kendrick Perkins realized that fact the hard way when his credit card was declined due to his kids racking up a $16,000 bill on ‘Fortnite’.
On March 31, the former NBA champion took to ESPN’s “Hoop Streams” segment to explain what happened. “I go to the store to buy something, credit card declined,” said Perkins. “I get my credit card bill back. Come to find out, I got $16,000 worth of ‘Fortnite’ bills on my credit card. It was from buying skins every day, whatever that is. I don’t even know what it is.”
Developed by Epic Studios and released in 2017, ‘Fortnite’ rose to become a pop culture phenomenon and helped popularize the “battle royale” video game genre. It is estimated that around 250 million people play ‘Fortnite’. While ‘Fortnite’ is free to download, in-game purchases such as season passes and in-game outfits called skins can accumulate quickly, as Perkins found out to his dismay. Perkins is not a fan of the game’s business strategy, saying: “I’m looking at the video game, Fortnite, like they’re tricking you. All of a sudden, they’re saying, ‘Oh, the game is free, but you got to buy skins and do all this other crazy stuff.'”
Perkins already was not fond of video games, as he explained: “In my house there’s nothing but ‘Fortnite,’ ‘NBA 2K’ — it just drives me crazy.” Since getting the ‘Fortnite’ bill, however, Perkins told his kids not to even speak about video games to him, only with their mother. “They don’t even tell me [about Fortnite],” says Perkins. “That’s them and my wife’s relationship with that video game.”
Due to the NBA season being suspended as a result of the coronavirus, the NBA is doing the next best thing and holding the “NBA 2K Players Tournament” starting April 3, where 16 NBA players will compete in an ‘NBA 2K20’ gameplay tournament. Thanks to his $16,000 bill, Perkins made it clear that he wants absolutely no part of the tournament. “I hate video games,” says Perkins.
Kendrick and wife Vanity Perkins have four kids together.