No, no they are not, 2K.
Microtransactions in full priced AAA games have come under fire as of late; it’s bad enough that they’re present in any full priced product to begin with at all, but egregious implementation that relies on almost abusive monetization practices, such as in Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and NBA 2K, has caught flak especially over the last year or so.
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 course corrected in terms of microtransactions, and EA has, at least for now, adopted a docile, conciliatory attitude in public regarding them. Not 2K, however. Speaking to Trusted Reviews, Rob Jones, senior producer on the game, defended the implementation of the in-game currency VC, saying that microtransactions are an “unfortunate reality” in today’s gaming landscape.
“VC is an unfortunate reality of modern gaming,” he said. “Every game, at some point, in some way has currency and they’re trying to get additional revenue from each player that plays the game. You know, the question has to be when does it feel like it’s a straight money grab versus when does it feel like it’s value added, right?
“We know nowadays that most people don’t have the patience to work their way to the top. They just wanna be there right away. So, you know, we look at it as, oh it’s an opportunity for us to allow you to skip the grind, but then if the grind is too long, like some people felt last year, they’re gonna sit there and they’re gonna go ‘well, you knew the grind was too long to begin with.”
2K, I’m going to be real with you here for a minute, okay? If you’ve designed “the grind” in your game such that players have to pay you to not play your game, maybe, just maybe, you’ve gone wrong somewhere with how you’ve approached designing your game. Just some food for thought. Consider this free advice, I won’t lock it away behind a made up currency like VC.
It’s especially a shame, because the actual core game in NBA 2K is great- it’s just with these microtransactions that they fumble. As the success of single player games have shown us, however, no, it is not necessary for a game to have microtransactions in today’s day and age for it to do well.
NBA 2K19 launches for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on September 11.