The emergence of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) as an alternative force to the West has ignited a debate within the discipline of international political economy on the nature of the group’s rise. Global governance scholars either debate the role of the BRICS in transforming the world order (playing the game) or focus on the domestic sources of the BRICS nations’ preference formation (the position of states within the game). This article goes beyond the game-versus-player debate, by focusing on the structural power of the BRICS to ‘change the rules of the game’. The article investigates how the BRICS-created New Development Bank as an alternative circuit for actors to exchange goods in the area of development finance has been integrated into global governance. The article argues that the New Development Bank does not grant the BRICS the structural power needed to change the rules and norms that underpin the game.