There’s so much division in the world today. What we need, more than ever, is something to bring us together. A common cause to rally around. Video games and the gaming industry are a fine one, but there are still all kinds of controversial issues inherent in that. 2K Games isn't really helping matters with their views on microtransactions.
Different approaches and models are used by a variety of publishers, across all formats. In some cases, you’ll buy a complete, full-price game and that’ll be the end of it. Other times, you don’t pay a dime for the game itself, but it keeps getting all up in your business with in-app purchases until you give in.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery took this to a new and frightening extreme, leaving you to watch your character being choked by Devil’s Snare unless you drop some cash. This isn’t simply a mobile game problem, either, having crept into just about every gaming format.
Was it consumer gullibility that allowed this to happen? Is it simply the way the wind’s blowing? Are developers and publishers getting ever more cash-hungry? According to 2K Games, this is just the way of the industry at the moment.
Speaking to Trusted Reviews, Rob Jones, Senior Producer of the NBA 2K series, stated that the franchise’s familiar VC Bucks are “an unfortunate reality of modern gaming.” All of the recent backlash about these sorts of practices has lead the team to re-evaluate certain practices, but the bottom line seems to be that there’s no getting away from in-game currencies and purchases thereof.
Jones’s argument is a popular one: microtransactions allow busy gamers to save grinding time, while still being able to compete with others when they hop online. “We know nowadays that most people don’t have the patience to work their way to the top. They just wanna be there right away,” he said, reinforcing the whole pay-to-win mentality that makes microtransactions so controversial.
The team has promised that they’ll be making NBA 2K more user-friendly, and have been listening to fan feedback. We’ll have to wait and see what this means for our wallets, but it sounds as though VC Bucks are going to make their voices heard in some way or another. Not that there was ever much doubt.