Considering that NBA 2K18 encountered a strong backlash overs its microtransactions and virtual currency, Trusted Reviews asked NBA 2K19 Senior Producer Rob Jones to address the controversy. He stated, “VC is an unfortunate reality of modern gaming.”
While his statement that “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” is simply not true, microtransactions have become normalized within certain genres. Sports sims are one of them.
Jones sees microtransactions as a way for players to expedite the grind, but he acknowledges that it’s crucial not to make that grind feel insurmountable:
[I]f 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.’
NBA 2K18‘s community complaint stemmed from needing VC for so many facets of the game, but not being awarded enough VC to make sufficient progress. From leveling up your character to getting a haircut, everything cost money.
The worse you were at NBA 2K18, the less VC you earned for playing. Meanwhile, the less VC you earned, the longer it took for your character’s stats to improve. In this sense, average to below average players were particularly at a disadvantage and pushed towards microtransactions.
Jones discussed the team’s approach to making improvements. His hope is that by “rewarding [players] more,” 2K fans won’t feel as pressured to buy VC. In less than a week, we’ll be able to see if they were successful in NBA 2K19.
If you purchase the 20th Anniversary Edition of NBA 2K19, you can start playing it on September 7, 2018 on your PlayStation 4. Otherwise, you have to wait until September 11, 2018. You can get a free head start on the game by downloading The Prelude, which is available now.
NBA 2K19 Microtransactions Addressed by Senior Producer Rob Jones