Serious concerns raised amid frustration over NBA 2K19’s unskippable ads

Posted June 26th, 2019 at 7:00 am

One would think that publishers would be laying low right now on the the monetization front with pressure from legislators that could potentially lead to the banning of any form of in-game monetization. Despite that Take Two and 2K Sports especially have always pushed the boundaries more than others and another example of that has reached mainstream status.

Frustration has grown and manifested itself in massive discussion threads at Reddit, all over social media, and with articles on a number of major media sites. An unskippable advertisement for an adult-oriented television show has started being shown before loading into games. This is a tactic utilized before but amplified due to the a few provocative circumstances.

The first is that the ad is for a show with very M-rated themes given that it is centered on the crack-cocaine epidemic in the 80s. NBA 2K19 is of course an ‘E for Everyone’ title.

Protecting children from gambling is the primary drive of legislation around microtransactions and it stands to reason that those same people behind it and many others would feel it inappropriate to show kids ads for something of this nature.

The other interesting aspect relates to the timing. This unskippable ad debuted shortly after the sale in which 2K19 was offered for just $3 came to an end. Coincidence or not the perception will be that it was planned in advance given the increase in eyeballs that came from a wider audience of players just introduced to the game.

Representatives from Take Two and 2K Sports have yet to comment on the building controversy. In the meantime, to avoid having to sit through those ads, turn off 2KTV from the menu options.