VC backlash results in cost reduction for certain customization items in NBA 2K18

Posted September 19th, 2017 at 4:15 pm

2K Sports has generally been able to sail under the radar as it pertains to the implementation of virtual currency in the NBA 2K series. The company had to course correct following the disastrous NBA 2K14 which was made into an always-online game in order to support a currency system that was weaved throughout all of its modes, but it was the server issues that made the game literally unplayable for weeks at a time that exposed the tactics being employed and making it a story the mainstream gaming media would cover.

Despite largely ignoring NBA 2K18’s severe launch issue of vanishing MyPlayers¬†gaming websites have started to jump on the increasing influence of microtransactions in the series, and how the system is built in a manner to pressure consumers into spending the money simply to get an enjoyable experience out of the game. 2K has already responded to that blowback by dropping the prices on items that had in the past not been charged for at all.

Haircuts originally cost as much as 1500 VC, and without the ability to preview how they’d look on the character it certainly felt as though that change was intended to get people to spend the VC only to have to spend more on a different look should they not like the one that was purchased.

With the way VC is ingrained in NBA 2K it’s probably unreasonable to expect a more dramatic shift in philosophy, as consumers have complained but ultimately shown that they’re accepting of it and willing to spend the money to advance their characters in the game to a place where they can be fun to use and competitive online. For every person that decides they no longer want to buy the game because of it, there are many more that willingly will drop hundreds of dollars for their characters on day one.

The route being taken by 2K is still an incredibly aggressive one, particularly compared to other sports game franchises that have isolated the revenue-generation to their own respective modes that don’t infringe on any other areas. Understandably there will be criticism of the way the currency system is handled but until it’s the consumers making their discontent unavoidable by affecting the outlook for the bottom line 2K will continue to push its limits.