Microtransactions are 'Unfortunate Reality of Modern Gaming' Says 2K, 'Every Game Tries It'

Written by Jon Sutton on Wed, Sep 5, 2018 2:09 PM
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Few publishers are quite as knee deep in the seedy world of microtransactions as 2K and its owner Take-Two Interactive. The latter even announced its intention last year to include microtransactions in all of its future games. On this front, they’re certainly succeeding, much to the dismay of fans. But those aforementioned microtransactions? They’re just “an unfortunate reality of modern gaming”, says 2K.

“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 Rob Jones, senior producer on the upcoming NBA 2K19, in an interview with Trusted Reviews. “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 have to presume he’s totally oblivious to the thousands of games which don’t do this, including plenty in the AAA space. For example, The Witcher 3, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, God of War, Doom, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Wolfenstein, Divinity: Original Sin 2, Prey, or just about any of the most highly regarded games of the last few years. Nevermind the indie scene, where microtransactions get even less of a pass. But of course, ‘every game’ is out to get additional revenue.

Despite the above critical and commercial successes, from 2K’s point of view, it appears there is no choice but to compromise their vision of a game for the purpose of selling loot boxes and consumables. It is a necessity, apparently.

We’ll give Jones a pass for now though, because he at least recognises if microtransactions are in a game, they shouldn’t be “straight money grabs”, right?

“We know nowadays that most people don’t have the patience to work their way to the top,” Jones goes on to say. “They just wanna be there right away. So we look at it as 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.” OK, perhaps he doesn’t get it then.

The message implicit in this interview is that 2K games wants there to be a grind in their games. A grind that isn’t too long but also isn’t too short. Just long enough to make paying to skip it a tempting proposition, but not too long to the point where it’ll piss a lot of players off. If they can’t see the compromise they’re making in their game design right there, that’s a little worrying. There are scales and 2K is actively weighing up milking more money versus the quality of the experience. If you’re wondering why the most critically acclaimed games in the world are where they are, it’s not because they play a deadly game of chicken with users’ wallets. They deliver a complete experience without compromise.

Who knows though, perhaps NBA 2K19 will right all of the wrongs of NBA 2K18. It’s not off to the greatest start but 2K Sports could yet spring a surprise.

NBA 2K19 is out on September 11th for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

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13:59 Sep-09-2018

I hate Microtransactions as much as the next guy, but I think he's onto something here, game development cost, keep the games updated, releasing new content and such is increasing exponentially. I would love a deeper dive into this area

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14:01 Sep-09-2018

let us see something like GTA 5 online for example. crapton of content, crapton of microtransactions as well. a deeper dive of the revenue vs cost of developing and maintaining these servers. same for other games as well.

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14:04 Sep-09-2018

but as i understood its cheeper now then it was in the past + they are earning more so Microtransactions are there for them to earn extra cashe, also am i in this case next guy bec i dont hate Microtransactions dont love them either just ignoring them

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19:06 Sep-16-2018

wouldnt say cheaper, its definitely more expensive, game worlds are increasing in complexity and size, linear games require bigger more open levels like shadow of the tomb raider and dmc 5 to come.

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19:07 Sep-16-2018

extra cash via microtransactions is fine as long as it gets redirected back to consumer friendly content. within reason of course.

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12:20 Sep-07-2018

Instead of helping 2K keep mtx in their games I bet gamers in Belgium asked their own government to go even harder on companies who are adding mtx lol:D

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22:55 Sep-06-2018

You can't lie and make up bull**** to fit your own truth EA. They live in a money hungry vacuum and will lie anyway they can to make it the truth. Sounds very familiar. Only gamers should make games. Not multi billion dollar companies.

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09:04 Sep-06-2018

I didn't purchase NBA 2k18 simply out of principle, My intentions remain the same this year, as it seems they refuse to budge on their crooked tactics. I refuse

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05:27 Sep-06-2018

They’re just “an unfortunate reality of modern gaming”, says 2K.


... well that is because there are companies/people like you in gaming industry that is full of zombies that will eat that $#!^ to freacking oblivion! >_>


Can wait to see the day when a majority of gamers actually start thinking with their own brain and try to somewhat improve gaming as a whole! I bet half of these greedy companies would go bankrupt or try to become steam 2.0 lol

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04:57 Sep-06-2018

Well, I pay for the game only to play it and I've never bought anything ingame. If microtransactions get in my way during my gameplay, I just stop playing.

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00:30 Sep-06-2018

'Unfortunate Reality of Modern Gaming'?


So basically what you're saying is that making repetitive games with barely any effort, games that aren't finished and always rushed out is something we should just accept?


HOW ABOUT NO!

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00:19 Sep-06-2018

This is so sad. Alexa play Despacito

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22:02 Sep-05-2018

So in short, they are trying to find most optimal way of squeezing as much money out of player without players feeling like they were ripped off and without players won't don't pay feeling like they got ripped off too, while making sure that players who do pay feel good about it.(1/2)

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22:04 Sep-05-2018

Basically just like EA, except EA did try to push it too far, before they admitted they are really terrible at it and have no moral compass at all, so they had to hire third party people to test new games and tell them when they are ripping off people too far. Basically they are two or three chapters behind EA.(2/2)

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20:54 Sep-05-2018

Its so stupid how some people(if not most) waste their money on this kind of shi*, i never bought them and i won't, and if MTX reached even the gameplay and the core game i won't buy the game at all, and i will never support the developer or publisher, 60$ is more than enough.

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18:04 Sep-05-2018

How Unfortunate, it's not like because we're purposely put so much grindy game design right ?

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17:45 Sep-05-2018

Sorry 2K, you can forget about loot boxes. XD

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16:49 Sep-05-2018

Iv never touch any Microtransactions and never will, to me its a waste of money

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16:11 Sep-05-2018

These guys would have to believe that games didn't make money before the concept of Microtransactions came around. Of course the grind is always going to be "too long" when there's MTXs involved. No one sells something they don't want you to buy and you're not going to buy it if there's no "value" to it.

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16:17 Sep-05-2018

GTAO is a perfect example, being as it's Take Two and what not. You can earn anywhere from $100-150K an hour in GTAO legit. A $99 Shark Card will give you $8M. You're looking at skipping 50+ hours of grind with that $99. Even burger flippers can make that cash in 14 hours of work. 50+ hours vs. 14, and yet 2K will defend both the grind and the cost. Btw, $8M won't buy much, maybe 3 vehicles.

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19:53 Sep-05-2018

or just buy from some hacker like i did i payed him 30$ for 2800M, so i ont need to grind so much bec y sayed y can get 100-150K per hour, but i actually was playing whole day fro that much as i would fail alot of missions and loading time is neormous

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20:22 Sep-05-2018

Or just maybe have a game in which grind time (if it's necessary) is reasonable enough so you can earn what you want in a reasonable amount of time.
If you have to resort to paying real money to hackers so you can have a fun time playing the game then what the F is that abomination of a game.

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20:55 Sep-05-2018

TheEmperor96 y speek true but we need balance bettween time we need to grind and reward we get as for now its to little for to ling.


also online games are fun if y have friends but in game like GTAO if y are alone all y can do is buying stuff as driving,shooting and same get boring very fast, but with friends all that is much more fun,sadly all games i play i play alone as there are no people that are interested in it

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22:36 Sep-05-2018

About six months after GTAO hit PC I had a hacker give me a bunch of cash. I spent a lot of it, though in hindsight I should have filled all of my properties with the most expensive cars all maxed out. About a week after that I was banned for a week and all of my money was taken, none of my stuff was taken. I didn't ask for it and I won't go looking for it.

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01:10 Sep-06-2018

i know hackers throwing cash around and some people getting baned bec of it tho idk how this one i bought from did it but it was more then 1 year as he hacked my cashe and i am still not baned as he sayed that its safe

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16:09 Sep-05-2018

micro transactions in full 60$ games Are DISGUSTING!

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15:20 Sep-05-2018

They're not an unfortunate reality, they're a quick cash grab. Nothing more.
Reading what he says just shows and proves how detached every one of these higher ups in AAA companies.


"most people don’t have the patience to work their way to the top" Those poor people. They sure are glad to have you help them get there. Not like it's your game and you dictate how hard it is to get to the top.

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15:24 Sep-05-2018

God damn it, this is just sad.
At least they had the stones to admit that they're substituting quality for a bit extra cash. That's I guess the biggest positive coming from all of this. Not that people didn't know this was being done already, but it's nice to have a confirmation at least instead of just repeating "it's all player choice" and hoping it'll all blow over.

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15:17 Sep-05-2018

go watch Jim Sterling's latest video - turns out 2k pleads to their fans / gamers in Belgium to call out that they WANT & ACCEPT lootboxes and eventually lift the lootbox ban xD
How low can you get....

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14:39 Sep-05-2018

They’re just “an unfortunate reality of modern gaming”, says 2K.


excuse me 2k they are only a reality because publishers just want more money to gouge people it doesnt have to be that way

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14:28 Sep-05-2018

So the guy is saying "Some people have no patience and we're milking it, allowing you to pay to win". If anything - THAT is the sad reality of gaming in 2018, not that microtrashactions are somehow a must for the game to be profitable...

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14:25 Sep-05-2018

From his statements it seems 2K19 will be equal to if not more full of micro-transactions than 2k18.
But is it just me
or does anyone else felt that 2k and Take-Two just defined a stereotypical freemium and are trying to pass it off as an ACTUAL gaming title

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