NBA 2K20 is Getting Massively Review Bombed Due To Microtransactions
NBA 2K20 launched less than a week ago and it is already having a rocky start. Lately, sports games have been notorious for including a large amount of microtransactions, but it seems like the latest installment in the popular basketball franchise has taken things to a whole new level.
That microtransaction controversy really is coming back to bite NBA 2K20 in its 7’2” tall ass. Everywhere you look, NBA 2K20 is receiving an absolute battering from users, whether that’s its “Overwhelmingly Negative” review score on Steam through to a stunning 0.8 User Score on Metacritic.
2K20 has been no stranger to criticism, especially since 2K’s suitably strange decision to release a trailer dedicated to showing off its microtransactions and gambling mechanics, and making it seem like a completely normal thing that hasn’t been pulled from a dystopian, capitalist nightmare.
Now, if you’re somehow still unaware of the egregious microtransactions on offer in NBA 2K 2020, look no further than 2K’s ill-fated casino trailer. It includes card packs, slot machines, loot boxes, roulette, and pachinko, culminating an absolute microtransaction and premium currency fiesta.
But, back to Steam for a moment where this game really is on blast. NBA 2K20 has been out for five days and notched up 1,702 user reviews. Of these reviews, 85% are negative. The complaints tend to boil down to the big elephant in the room – microtransactions.
“Bought it just to dislike it,” says Elenko, who followed through with 8.3 hours played.
“Full of micro transactions,” says INA_NoctisLucis_XV, rather succinctly.
It’s not all bad though, NBA 2K20 has actually proven inspirational for one user. “This is my first ever review on steam. Don’t waste your money on this game,” warns vivre_guy. Congratulations on putting pen to paper for your first Steam review buddy.
Microtransactions are fairly commonplace with sports games these days, and NBA 2K20 is no exception. Players can spend money in many different ways, from card packs and slots to pachinko machines. The sheer number of microtransactions has the internet in an uproar. The Steam reviews are littered with scathing criticisms of the game, like “The worst version of NBA 2K I’ve played” and funnier ones such as “10/10 They put a basketball minigame in one of the best gambling simulator game on Steam!” which is one of the few “positive” reviews on the page.
NBA 2K20 is not the first game to implement more casino-like practices. Grand Theft Auto Online now features a full casino where players can spend in-game money (which can be bought with real money) on any number of gambling activities. The casino features horse races players can bet on, slots, blackjack, roulette, and more. Grand Theft Auto V didn’t receive nearly as much backlash as NBA 2K20 is receiving now, though it is still online gambling. Practices like these are unfortunately a growing trend in gaming lately.
There are also complaints of NBA 2K20 being too similar to 2K19 — the Windows bar icon is apparently 2K19’s. (Screenshot below)
For comparison, NBA 2K19 sits on mostly negative reviews on Steam, though it has significantly more reviews as the older game. It’s the same story with 2K18. You have to go back to 2K17 to find anything better than a supremely negative rating; 2K17 is on a comparatively princely “mixed”.
What’s also interesting to note is that NBA 2K20 has few critical reviews on Metacritic as things stand with just two reviews for its PS4 version and none for any of its platforms, suggesting that 2K were reticent to send out early code to stop bad word from spreading.
NBA 2K19 removed loot boxes from the Belgian copy of the game due to Belgium’s ban on loot boxes, so something similar may happen should the United States ever implement anti-loot box legislation. Unfortunately until then fans will either have to avoid these cash-grab schemes or simply avoid NBA 2K20 altogether.
It’s a brutal state of affairs but you can’t say 2K hasn’t been warned. The egregiousness of the microtransactions is on a whole other level compared to EA Sports titles, and that’s an impressive feat in itself. Time will tell whether this makes a dent in NBA 2K20’s sales though, and if we see a reversal for next year’s outing.