Kotaku: NBA 2K18 is Riddled with Microtransactions

Z3M0G

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Jan 16, 2012
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This MUST be disgustingly successful if they:

A: keep doing it

B: keep making it worst

I hate that i purchased 2K15 at console launch for teh graffix
 

TheAuldTriangle

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Jun 24, 2017
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I could understand if VC was in their equivalent of Ultimate Team only i.e buying player packs; but in career mode? Insidious practice. Hopefully it bombs.
 

falcs

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EVERYONE in this thread that says "I don't care" and willingly pays for this type of shit, you are ruining this industry.
 
Apr 13, 2014
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I'm not making anything up. THat's exactly how it works, and we're describing the same thing.

You're making bets, both on real life NFL game results and real NFL prop bets. If you hit those game results or you hit those prop bets, or of you parlay a certain amount of wins correctly (20, 24, and 32, right?) then you get rewarded with coins.

"Oh but I earn coins by playing Solo Challenges (what EA calls "grinding solos" in their "Grinders Guide") and I get predictor cards by grinding solo challenges, so it's not gambling because I'm not using real money!"

Coins, in MUT, have a exchange rate in relation to points, points have an exchange rate in relation to dollars. You use predictor cards (sorry I called them "tokens" they look like tokens on the card) which reward you with coins (which have a monetary value) which you can spend on expiring digital items which are delivered to you via packs, where some packs have good value and some packs have not good value.

This is the basic fundamentals of gambling, and it preys on gambling instincts.
The latter of what you’re describing is MUT as it has been for awhile.

And it’s not gambling, gambling means you’re using your own currency, you’re not you’re using true or false cards to PREDICT how the games go. You’re not actually gambling at all.

And you keep saying grinding, you literally play 2 games and you know what else?! You quite literally are playing Madden Moments.

Madden Moments are shortened versions of games. I think the 2 games this week start off in the 4th quarter and are about 5 minutes to go at worse.

You’re really overreacting to how it works. It’s not messed up at all, MUT luckily is disattached from all the other modes. It’s the only mode that uses coins and even then I’ve never had to buy coins, I can always grind for a good card or go to auction to buy it with my coins.

If nba and Madden keep it at that, bravo.
 

test_account

XP-39C²
Mar 22, 2007
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86 overall would make your created character slightly above average, compared to other players in the NBA. He'd be a mid-level starter in NBA 2K18. Because spending VC scales up to cost more and more as you improve, going from 86 to say 95 or so (comparable to the top stars in the NBA), you'd probably have to spend much, much more time.

I'm sure it scales based on the settings you play with, but hypothetically, if each game takes 40 minutes, then that's about 8,000 minutes, or about 133 hours, or about 5 1/2 days... To create a mid-level character. And that's only if you focus on maximizing your players rating. If you want to customize the character for him to look like you or wear the clothes that you like ro might wear, then that will take much, much longer.

Or you could spend $99 and get that character now.

200 games is a lot of games, and sports games aren't like MMOs that might be released once every 3 or 4 years, or like GTA which might be released once every 5 years. They have an annual release cycle as they try to mimic real life, which has new seasons, rosters, teams, rules, and so on, every year.
Thanks for the info :) I think its possible to play games that are shorter than 40 minutes (which is the same length as real life matches). If that was the only option, 200 games x 40 minutes a piece would indeed take quite some time. From what i gather, in FIFA for example, online matches are about 15-20 minutes long, while real football/soccer matches are 90 minutes long.
 

CazTGG

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The worst part about this is that, if it goes uncontested, developers like Take-Two will likely throw them into games like Red Dead Redemption 2 in a more egregious and intrusive manner than their current state in 2K18.

These decisions don't exist in a vacuum.
 

Violence Jack

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Jun 20, 2013
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Thank God for Jim. I was waiting for someone other than Kotaku to bring up just how insane the VC requirements have gotten in this series over the years.

If 2K wants their hardcore NBA crowd who has no problem putting down another $20-$100 for VC to use in the game, they can have them. I hope others are just walking away from this series until 2K gets some common sense again.
 

nuclearaddict

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Sep 6, 2014
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The worst part about this is that, if it goes uncontested, developers like Take-Two will likely throw them into games like Red Dead Redemption 2 in a more egregious and intrusive manner than their current state in 2K18.

These decisions don't exist in a vacuum.
RDR2 was set to get micro transactions the minute GTA Online's shark cards were a giant success.
 

NHale

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Mar 3, 2009
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The worst part about this is that, if it goes uncontested, developers like Take-Two will likely throw them into games like Red Dead Redemption 2 in a more egregious and intrusive manner than their current state in 2K18.

These decisions don't exist in a vacuum.
But c'mon those games are not cheap to make! They have to recoup their development cost, so it's only fair that Take Two forces you to spend 1K of Spaghetti Coins to press Start on the main menu. That menu took so many dev hours to make, they need to be compensated for that.

And if you feel the need to have a horse in the game you can't be upset if you need to donate a kidney to Take Two as compensation. Those horse animations weren't made for free. How are they ever going to get their money back if they don't implement those kind of microtransaction to a game that took them 7 years to make? Let's be sensible here people.
 

legend166

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Jan 31, 2007
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This is why I don't even buy into the "well if it's just cosmetic it doesn't matter!" argument.

You give these jerks an inch and they will take a mile. Heck, they'll take a thousand miles. The slippery slope is not a fallacy when it comes to video games. They will continue pushing it because there's people out there who will pay. When you can sell to one customer who will spend $200 on virtual currency that's more valuable than 3 people buying the game who spend nothing, so who cares about their enjoyment?

We're at the point now where developers are deliberately making boring games so they can then sell you virtual currency so the game isn't boring any more. If it takes 200 games to get your player rating to 85, we're talking about at least 100 hours to get to that point. For a yearly sports game. That's ridiculous.

I'll buy a used copy on Switch in 6 months when the playoffs are on.
 

Memorabilia

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Oct 25, 2013
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I'm a huge basketball fan in general and have purchased NBA 2K almost every year going back to the original release on Dreamcast. But... I just can't do it anymore. I'll be playing a mix of 2k15, 16, and 17 this season and will be skipping 18. If I do decide to pick it up at some point, I've never felt more justified buying a used copy of a game...or more sad and bummed out about the state of sports gaming than I am right now. Madden 18 is a pile of shit (sticking with 17) and so is NBA 2K18. Good job EA and 2K. The bottomless greed has gotten to the point that both these companies have actively ruined their own games and are threatening the legacy of the series.
 

Dangansona

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Feb 10, 2015
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Happy to see the pushback to the "games are expensive to make and it's only cosmetics responses." I'm not trying to throw anyone under the bus in this thread, I'm just really sick of this shit. 2K16 will remain the last 2K game I buy and it's a shame because each year I get more and more into NBA.
 

benzopil

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Jan 27, 2016
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So according to Opencritic, TheSixthAxis game this game 3/10 because of microtransactions

But later the score disappeared

Update: In discussion with 2K Games, we’ve temporarily removed the score pending a statement with regard to our criticisms, at which point it will be reinstated. Additionally, a draft conclusion was posted that incorrectly characterised our score as a protest vote, and has been reworded to reflect that our criticisms are rooted in the effect that VC and microtransactions have on the gameplay.
 

Roubjon

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it certainly makes sense to put them in games that are mainstream popular like GTA and NBA 2k. I kind of can't blame them. It's a lame practice that promotes bad game design, but some of those things really don't matter to their core audience.
 

ViciousDS

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Aug 14, 2013
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Happy to see the pushback to the "games are expensive to make and it's only cosmetics responses." I'm not trying to throw anyone under the bus in this thread, I'm just really sick of this shit. 2K16 will remain the last 2K game I buy and it's a shame because each year I get more and more into NBA.
sucks too because NBA Live's The One mode is the most friendly and fun Career mode I have had with a basketball game in years. Problem is their gameplay is not even close to 2K's and they focused so much on "The One" that for the most part, the franchise mode is kind of just tacked in there.

Next year if Live can robust the gameplay even further and truly nail the franchise modes......hhnnnnggggg.

For now though, Live is enough for me and I'm having more fun in it than 2k thats for sure. Plus the online doesn't work like ass.....god 2K's park is such shit this year.....how it continues to get worse in playability blows my mind
 
Sep 23, 2014
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I bought 2k14 with my launch PS4 and it was the biggest F U I had ever got in gaming. I enjoyed my PS+ copy of 2k16, but i'll never buy that game full priced ever again.

Disgusting gets overused in gaming a lot, but this fits the bill.


Edit: And one more thing. I pisses me off how reviews sort of gloss over this stuff. I go back and look at reviews for 2k14 through 2k17, and it's as if micro transactions were turned off for reviewers cause they rarely mentioned them.

Reviewers (as well as consumers) should be to blame for this. They (outlets) are a huge voice for consumers and while some at GAF will do a lot of research on a game before buying, more casual consumers will only look at the score and cliff notes of a review.

2k17 has a metascore of 88
 

KimonoNoNo

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Aug 30, 2011
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I'm guessing 2K threatened blacklisting them if they didn't change it? I can't think of any other reason why they'd be in discussion with 2K.
I don't see what the big deal is? Review told the truth. The gameplay is good, but the microtransactions and VC requirements heavily detract from the game's value at $60. Fuck off 2K.
Yeah that certainly does sound that they're been lent on.
 

hbkdx12

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Sep 15, 2008
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it certainly makes sense to put them in games that are mainstream popular like GTA and NBA 2k. I kind of can't blame them. It's a lame practice that promotes bad game design, but some of those things really don't matter to their core audience.
I don't see how this line of logic couldn't be (or better yet, isn't) applied to pretty much every game regardless of how "mainstream" it is.

No matter how you slice it, microtransactions provide very little investment but comes with an extremely high rate of return even if only a fraction of people use it
 

OriginalJonty

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Dec 8, 2014
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Yeah that certainly does sound that they're been lent on.
Hello. Reviewer here. After review went live I've had no direct contact with 2K, instead their PR is chatting with my editor. All I know is that 2K are to issue a statement of some sort regarding issues raised in the review. Of course the real issue is what updates the 2K18's VC system gets.

Just think of this as a review now in progress. If things remain unchanged so will my opinion.
 
Sep 23, 2014
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Hello. Reviewer here. After review went live I've had no direct contact with 2K, instead their PR is chatting with my editor. All I know is that 2K are to issue a statement of some sort regarding issues raised in the review. Of course the real issue is what updates the 2K18's VC system gets.

Just think of this as a review now in progress. If things remain unchanged so will my opinion.
Great review...thanks for keeping them accountable.
 

Violence Jack

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Jun 20, 2013
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Hello. Reviewer here. After review went live I've had no direct contact with 2K, instead their PR is chatting with my editor. All I know is that 2K are to issue a statement of some sort regarding issues raised in the review. Of course the real issue is what updates the 2K18's VC system gets.

Just think of this as a review now in progress. If things remain unchanged so will my opinion.
Cool. Good review by the way.
 

chrisPjelly

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Jan 16, 2015
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And to imagine, just around 5 years ago, people were defending this bullshit microtransaction industry with comments like; "oh let them test the water, I doubt anything will come off it" and "you can still play the game and receive VC normally, this is JUST for people that don't have the patience and have the money to drop". Let this be a lesson that whenever you have greedy corporations involved, NEVER let them take an inch, because they'll be the first to obliterate the fucking mile.
 

hyp

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Jul 15, 2004
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Hello. Reviewer here. After review went live I've had no direct contact with 2K, instead their PR is chatting with my editor. All I know is that 2K are to issue a statement of some sort regarding issues raised in the review. Of course the real issue is what updates the 2K18's VC system gets.

Just think of this as a review now in progress. If things remain unchanged so will my opinion.
nothing but respect, expose these crooks.
 

ViciousDS

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Aug 14, 2013
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Hello. Reviewer here. After review went live I've had no direct contact with 2K, instead their PR is chatting with my editor. All I know is that 2K are to issue a statement of some sort regarding issues raised in the review. Of course the real issue is what updates the 2K18's VC system gets.

Just think of this as a review now in progress. If things remain unchanged so will my opinion.
good shit Jonty, really interested in what they do with the VC system. Maybe they double VC gains......being where 1k is average salary and you get roughly 1500k per game based on performance......would make it by far a much better experience.
 
Feb 18, 2009
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good shit Jonty, really interested in what they do with the VC system. Maybe they double VC gains......being where 1k is average salary and you get roughly 1500k per game based on performance......would make it by far a much better experience.
Don’t get your hopes up man, they aren’t gonna hurt themselves making more money.
 

hbkdx12

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Sep 15, 2008
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When you hear stuff like Acti making over 3 billion from MT's last year you have to wonder if the vocal minority actually didn't buy the game, which is pretty much the only way to combat this stuff, would the decrease in sales even matter in their eyes
 
Nov 13, 2013
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When you hear stuff like Acti making over 3 billion from MT's last year you have to wonder if the vocal minority actually didn't buy the game, which is pretty much the only way to combat this stuff, would the decrease in sales even matter in their eyes
Well, how many people bitching about this are going to skip the next Red Dead game?

Take Two/2K can keep doing this because they know everyone will keep buying their games no matter how much we complain.
 

ElNino

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Nov 24, 2006
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This seems acceptable to me.

Or maybe someone could explain how it would impact an average joe just taking his or her favorite squad through a season, which is how I typically play sports games (when I do) and how I envision most of everybody else doing it.

If I'm trying to take the Celtics to the 2018 championship, does this get in my way?
It might not impact a regular season mode, but it seriously impacts the MyPlayer or MyTeam modes (I think they're called that). My son loves the 2k games, but last year when he started the MyTeam mode he lasted less than a week before he had no money left to buy contracts for the players in his lineups. It didn't seem like there was any good way to just play the the game to accumulate VC without buying bundles.

This, along with age gating of the MyPlayer/Team modes, is why I won't let him buy the game at full price, so he needs to wait until the game is 50% off to buy it. I know Madden has micro transactions as well, but in all the years of him playing that game he has never needed to buy any packs for Madden, while for 2k he needs to within a week of playing the game. Admittedly, I don't play these games as much anymore but something appears to be seriously broken with 2k's economics.
 

hbkdx12

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Well, how many people bitching about this are going to skip the next Red Dead game?

Take Two/2K can keep doing this because they know everyone will keep buying their games no matter how much we complain.
Of course not but that's what im saying, even if everyone who hates this stuff didn't buy the games, you'd have to imagine that the amount of money these pubs make from MTs would easily offset any decrease in sales. So even if people aren't buying the game i don't think pubs would feel affected all that much if/once they see all the MT money start rolling in.
 

jwhit28

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Feb 27, 2010
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When you hear stuff like Acti making over 3 billion from MT's last year you have to wonder if the vocal minority actually didn't buy the game, which is pretty much the only way to combat this stuff, would the decrease in sales even matter in their eyes
They do market heavily on the review scores and maybe there are some bonuses tied to it. It would have to take more reviewers raising a stink about putting a MMORPG style grind into a yearly release or dropping money to get a decent MyPlayer.
 

IndustryX

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Everyone I know that plays it buys the 100 dollar version just to be able to have there mycareer guy at an 85 when they start out. It's actually obscene.
 

Takuan

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Jun 6, 2004
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Hello. Reviewer here. After review went live I've had no direct contact with 2K, instead their PR is chatting with my editor. All I know is that 2K are to issue a statement of some sort regarding issues raised in the review. Of course the real issue is what updates the 2K18's VC system gets.

Just think of this as a review now in progress. If things remain unchanged so will my opinion.
Thanks for your work. It's actually pretty ridiculous that the review's been withheld with that justification, since your criticisms are based on how the game is right now and has been since launch - not some yet to be realized update that you cannot possibly predict.

I mean, pardon my language, but what a bunch of fricking FRICKS.
 

WarMacheen

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Dec 5, 2008
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Called Nintendo and got an eshop refund on it. Besides the microtransaction stuff, which I didn't think would be that bad, but kind of is, the game felt slow. Even the cut scenes would desync with the video going slower than the audio.
 

norm9

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Nov 21, 2014
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The average joe is the one to blame.
A casual player is going to want to power their character up without spending hours and hours. I don't blame them for paying. I also don't blame them if they were disgusted by this practice.
 

KazenY2J

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Oct 17, 2014
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The VC greed is ridiculous this year, I mostly just play MyLeague now. It's a shame too, because the 5 on 5 gameplay is great imo, albeit a few issues.

Hoping that NBA Live can be more competitive after 18.
 

Szadek

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Jan 12, 2014
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This kind of shit is why I'm basically done with AAA games.
If your game has Microtransactions or Loot boxes, than I'm not buying it. Simple as that
I don't need them, I have more than enough games already anyway. They just making my life easier at this point.
 

Uno Venova

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Jan 24, 2011
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Even though this shit has been bad for years I'm glad people are finally picking up on it, even though it's not negatively affecting review scores enough.

Now, if motherfuckers on Youtube can stop buying 100,000 VC for packs/loot box openings, that would be grand.
 

Takuan

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Even though this shit has been bad for years I'm glad people are finally picking up on it, even though it's not negatively affecting review scores enough.

Now, if motherfuckers on Youtube can stop buying 100,000 VC for packs/loot box openings, that would be grand.
It'll never happen. There's clearly a market for which this is a suitable business practice.

wehavetogoback.gif
 

Steroyd

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Dec 27, 2006
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When you hear stuff like Acti making over 3 billion from MT's last year you have to wonder if the vocal minority actually didn't buy the game, which is pretty much the only way to combat this stuff, would the decrease in sales even matter in their eyes
This is the tricky thing with voting with my wallet even if Acti/2K doesn't get my $60 for the game it can easily be offset by a whale paying $60 in MT's and because there's no upper limit who knows how many $60's these whales are compensating for in equivalency if they're happy to drop $200 in fake currency for a one time event.