2K’s latest entry in their basketball sports franchise NBA 2K21 has been out for just over a month now and for the most part, has been fairly mixed among the critics and fans. Unfortunately, the scrutiny continues for both the company and the series as the game apparently now has something that gamers around the world absolutely despise; in-game advertisements. As reported by Stevivor, the game now has advertisements that you cannot skip in any way, showcasing it with YouTube videos as definitive proof. Even worse, the advertisements aren’t just logos flying by with a short narration, but actual commercials that you would normally see on tv or online.
— Stevivor (@Stevivor) October 18, 2020
According to the post, Stevivor first received word on the update from a reader and went to investigate. They noticed it right away, seeing an advertisement for the recently released VR headset, the Oculus Quest 2, on the loading screens. Stevivor states that this video is from the game running on an Xbox One, but upon testing it out on PC, they received the very same advertisement. It’s worth noting that the PC they were running on had an SSD (Solid State Drive) which drastically decreases the load times for almost any game out there. Yet the advertisement ran its full-time frame, even though the match was already fully loaded and ready to go beforehand.
This also is not the first time that 2K has inserted full advertisements into their IP. Last year they did the same thing with the previous iteration, NBA 2K20, which prompted a severe backlash from the fan base. The reaction to this will most likely be the same from those fans, especially due to the fact that the next-generation version that launches for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S will cost $69.99, ten dollars more than the current MSRP pricing. Take-Two, the publishing company of all 2K titles, defended the decision for the price increase, but this has only added to the controversy surrounding the company and its practices.
2K is not the only company to experiment with this practice. EA has been doing this with their NFL franchise, Madden, for several years now. They’ve also inserted real-life advertisements into both UFC 3 and UFC 4, the latter of which had such a massive backlash that EA apologized and removed them from the game completely. 2K nor Take-Two have not stated whether they will consider removing the advertisements from NBA 2K21, but considering their track record in these types of endeavors, it’s highly unlikely that they will be taken out anytime soon.