NBA 2K18 was released this week on PC and consoles (including the Nintendo Switch). And while fans of the basketball sim series are thrilled with the addition of The Neighborhood social space, these same fans are furious at the game’s microtransactions and have called on publisher 2K Sports to make a change.
While NBA 2K18 players are granted some Virtual Currency (the currency used to improve a character’s skills and buy cosmetics) for free, this freebie barely raises a character above the average skill level. And although VC can be earned, players will be forced to grind and complete hundreds of games in order to get enough of the currency to raise their player’s Overall rating to a decent number. Players say that the game feels as though it has been specifically engineered to force them to spend real money on the VC.
Also lending some weight to their argument are the game’s cosmetics, including the hair and apparel options. At least one of the game’s haircuts cost a whopping 1,500 VC, and tattoos could cost 1,000. While players expect to pay a premium for the flashiest sneakers and threads, the haircut prices were branded as ludicrous by many.
Haircuts, coloring and facial hair are now 100 VC. Want to make sure it's realistic going forward! #NBA2K18
— Ronnie 2K 2K18 (@Ronnie2K) September 19, 2017
2K Sports has faced massive backlash over NBA 2K18‘s microtransactions, with some players even threatening to ditch the series that they hold dearly over the pricey purchases. As seen above, Ronnie “Ronnie 2K” Singh, who is in charge of social media marketing for the NBA 2K series, has announced some changes, tweeting that haircuts, facial hair and hair coloring will now cost just 100 VC.
But fans still say that this doesn’t go far enough. For example, they are still unable to even try on and preview the haircuts meaning that they can’t be fully confident on their potential purchase before the sale has gone through. 2K Sports may be forced to make further changes, as it seems that the backlash surrounding its new game isn’t dying down soon.
NBA 2K18 isn’t the only game to have been raked over the coals for perceived exploitation of its player base recently. The microtransactions in the upcoming Middle-earth: Shadow of War saw publisher Warner Bros. Interactive see waves of vitriol. Destiny 2‘s cosmetic microtransactions were slammed too, which saw developer Bungie move swiftly in order to make changes.
Microtransactions have been seen as an easy way to make extra money from players, supporting a game past the initial purchase price. But with these recent rumblings, some may be wondering whether the time is up on microtransactions on premium priced games and publishers and developers will have to change their money-making strategy. Because, as the above games have witnessed, when fans are unhappy, they will be quick to voice it.
NBA 2K18 is out now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.