2K sees microtransactions and virtual currency as just an “unfortunate reality” of running a game these days.
That’s according to NBA 2K19 producer Rob Jones, who spoke to Trusted Reviews on the sports title’s monetisation. 2K faced criticism when it implemented virtual currency in last year’s iteration, but stands by its decision to implement the monetisation tactic.
““Every game, at some point, in some way has currency and they’re trying to get additional revenue from each player that plays the game,” said Jones.
“You know, the question has to be when does it feel like it’s a straight money grab versus when does it feel like it’s value-added, right?
“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. So, you know, we look at it as, oh it’s an opportunity for us to allow you to skip the grind, but then if the grind is too long, like some people felt last year, they’re gonna sit there and they’re gonna go ‘well, you knew the grind was too long to begin with.”
Jones continues to explain that NBA 2K19 should at least feel fairer when it comes to both earning and spending virtual currency: "I think the biggest problem last year was not knowing where you were going. A lot of the times you wasted VC that you had earned on things that weren’t necessary.”
While sustaining the increasing budgets of triple-A games in 2018 is becoming harder and harder, 2K hasn’t exactly attracted goodwill towards its need to make ends meet. The publisher recently tried to push its luck by asking Belgian gamers to lobby against restrictive loot box laws in that region.