NBA 2K18’s predatory microtransactions tweaked after backlash

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NBA2K

NBA 2K 18 is out, and as a basketball game, it’s pretty damned good. As a way of extracting money from the customers who’ve already paid for the game, it’s even better. The game’s single player mode is riddled with microtransactions, affecting everything from player stats to simple things like haircuts. Yes, you can earn the virtual currency (VC) to level up by playing the game, but it’s a terribly slow grind. Instead, the game keeps suggesting that you shell out real cash for the fake stuff. And it doesn’t come cheap, either.

There’s been a fair bit of backlash on Reddit and other communities. Levelling up your player without spending cash is more than just time consuming, it’s a drag. Says Reddit:

“You will need about 240 NBA games to get to 86 overall and that’s if you get A+ every game, C grade is about 360 games and B about 300.”

That’s a lot of basketball. For most players, a single game would net around 500 VC. Some haircuts cost as much as 1500 VC, so you’d need to play three games just to change a simple aesthetic on your player. Kotaku perfectly outlined how ludicrous the situation was.

Thankfully, some semblance of sanity has prevailed. A little. 2K has slashed the VC pricing of its customisation items, with Haircuts, colouring and facial hair now going for 100 VC. It’s a little better, but the game is still predatory in how it handles microtransactions. The game expects you to spend at least a third of the sticker price of the game (currently R999 on the PlayStation store) just to get your character to a decent level.

I’ll always defend the idea of microtransactions when it comes to completely optional character customisation, but when not paying more affects your enjoyment of the game to this degree, it’s just downright sleazy.

Last Updated: September 21, 2017

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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