2K Games are no stranger to forcing unethical monetization down its consumers’ throats. Be it placing a free to play business model in a AAA game or the classic use of loot boxes, 2K has done it all. But today’s finding of what gamers have come across in NBA 2K21 might just top it all.
When loading into a game on NBA 2K21 there’s a chance that, instead of the usual 2K TV showing, you’ll be forced to watch an advert. I say forced because there’s no way to skip regardless of how fast your game loads. This was most notably highlighted by PC players who’s would reach 100% loading very quickly but not be given an option to proceed.
This isn’t the first time
Needless to say, forcing your consumers to watch an advert on a product they paid for is bad enough. What’s worse though is that NBA 2K21 isn’t even 2K Games’ first offence.
Back on NBA 2K19 the publisher put the game on a 95% sale but then proceeded to run several unskippable adverts. Presumably, the intention was to increase the cost of the ad space by building a player base up quickly.
As many industry experts have noted, the main reason for this behaviour is likely a lack of competition. Ever since Electronic Arts’ NBA Live franchise fell apart NBA 2K has gotten worse every year. Arguably, NBA 2K21 is the most anti-consumer entry of the franchise yet.
It sparks an interesting discussion as to what we should expect for the upcoming next-gen version. Even though we only have NBA 2K21 on console right now, the Xbox Series X and PS5 versions are right around the corner. Given the new consoles’ advanced hard drives will effectively eliminate loading times, it’ll be interesting to see if 2K does this again.
Despite debuting in 1996, the WNBA has not received much representation in the NBA 2K series. In fact, it only first appeared last year and even then as a bit-part side mode. However, some recent news regarding NBA 2K21 suggests that may be changing.
Announced in a recent Q&A with developer Visual Concepts, it was confirmed female MyPlayers are coming to NBA 2K21. However, they’ll only be available on the next-gen versions of the game. That means only PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X players will get to try them out.
NBA 2K21 progressive game design
Much like the standard mode, female MyPlayers will be fully customizable from their looks to their animations and skillsets. We don’t yet have details regarding how the female MyPlayers will interact with their male counterparts. It’ll be interesting to see if Visual Concepts opts for mixed-gender game modes or opts to separate them.
Thankfully, it’s not as though current gen players won’t get access to any new features. For one, the new neighborhood “The Beach,” has already been confirmed. It’s an environment inspired by the street ball played in areas like Los Angeles.
For those looking for significant gameplay changes, both NBA 2K21’s shooting and dribbling have been reworked. Going forward the right stick will be the focus for both chaining dribble moves and efficient shooting. The new shooting sees players having to prioritize aiming their shot instead of timing their release.
Despite that, there is a high skill option that combines both old and new shooting method together. By tapping LT/RT as you release the ball after aiming your shot, you can also get a release time bonus. I’d imagine this is a method only NBA 2K21 pros and competitive players will opt for. Regardless, it’ll be interesting to see how this year’s game turns out.