In one of the most stupid business moves I’ve ever seen someone in this industry make, 2K Games has added unskippable ads into the latest entry in their NBA series, NBA 2K21. These were originally reported by Stevivor, and while they’re live at the time of writing, I understand that they may not be by the time you read this. I apologise if they’re not, and this news is therefore outdated, but I think you’ll agree that this type of gross behaviour needs to be documented. The site even posted a YouTube video of the ads, if you needed proof that 2K Games is this slimy.
This ad plays before players can interact with the game. They’re toxic, and quite frankly just an awful thing to have to put up with. I don’t play NBA 2K21, but if I saw this in any game I wasn’t extremely passionate about, I’d stop playing it.
You’d have thought that these companies had learned by now. Last year EA pulled the same move with EA Sports UFC 4. Those unskippable ads caused so much bad press, and such a huge negative reaction from fans, that they were removed soon after being introduced. Someone at 2K Games clearly had no idea this was a thing, and thought they were a genius in adding these ads into their game.
I think what makes this whole situation even slimier is just the fact that people have paid a lot of money for this game already. This is a full-priced game, so $60, and yet there are now in-game ads. As if 2K Games needed more money? It seems like a way to recoup costs for offering the game at a lower price, but for that to be real they’d have had to actually sell the game at a reasonable price.
NBA 2K21 is coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S later this year. The game is going to be full-priced there too, but it’ll also probably have more ads in. If 2K Games don’t get rid of these, they risk ruining the game for all but the most hardcore of players. I’d expect this kind of behavior in a free-to-play game, but not something that’s usually of quite a high caliber.