Developer 2K issues apology for NBA 2K21 in-game ads

Developer 2K have issued an apology after fans called them out for unskippable adverts during the loading screen for matches in NBA 2K21. Here’s what we know

2K apology for NBA 2K21 ads

The apology from the developer was less than reassuring about them understanding fans actual reason for complaining and stopped some way short of promising no future advertising.

This latest incident is just another example of what is an increasing tendency for developers to try and sneak additional streams of revenue into their full-priced games.

The practice is becoming more common, and most disturbingly it’s not indie games trying to make a few extra rands but big studios that are already making generous profits on their games from sales and in-game purchases.

EA’s ads in ‘UFC 4’

Last month, EA were similarly met with a backlash from fans when they snuck in-game adverts into UFC 4.

EA were extra sneaky about it as they released the game without adverts and after the review cycle ended added the adverts in which is why you won’t see any Day One reviews complaining about EA’s cash grab.

Sadly 2K didn’t learn from EA who eventually pulled the adverts from UFC 4 due to the backlash from their fans.

Not really an apology

The NBA franchise has been running advertising as part of it’s loading screens for a few years now, but this has been the first time that they’ve integrated the ads in such a way that players would have to sit through the advert before they could start their game.

“As many are aware, in recent years ads have been integrated into 2KTV segments,” 2K tweeted this week.

Yesterday’s 2KTV ad placement impacted our player’s experience in a way we didn’t intend, as these ads are not meant to run as part of the pre-game introduction. This will be fixed in future episodes. Thanks for your continued feedback.

A bigger issue

The advert in question was for Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 VR headset which I’m sure 2K are pocketing a handsome sum for.

It’ll be interesting to see how 2K and other developers who are dropping ads into loading screens will make their advertising money on next-gen consoles which are promising no more loading screens.

While it’s good that 2K are listening to complaints from their fans, it really just highlights the bigger issue of why should a player have to sit through adverts after spending a lot of money to buy a full-priced game which also has in-game purchases. 

Also read – Here’s what Blizzard has in store for ‘StarCraft 2’ now that development is over Protection Status

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