This NBA2k20 Lootbox trailer is...amazing. and bad.

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#1 Posted by Rorie (5912 posts) -

This is from Kotaku, but man.

That is a literal slot machine in this calvacade of microtransactions and people are happy about it! 2K has said that this game doesn't have gambling! I haven't played a basketball game in a while and I know the 2K games have been pushing the envelope in terms of what people find acceptable in terms of microtransactions and lootboxes, but man: a slot machine!

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#2 Posted by someoneproud (668 posts) -

I just saw this. Actually shocking the brass balls on 2k with this shit, most of the trailer looks like a virtual casino. Loot boxes, roulette and slots... oh and some basketball I guess. Kinda looking forward to the shitstorm this stirs up and I can only hope that impacts their bottom line but... god what a mess...

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#3 Posted by inevpatoria (7487 posts) -

NBA 2K once represented the high-water mark of all modern sports games and has since mutated into a contemptible, soulless husk that spits in the face of any respect or esteem the franchise has earned in its twenty-plus year run.

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#4 Posted by FinalDasa (3241 posts) -

This reminds me of the Counter Strike streamers who would rig the CS gambling sites they secretly owned. Same reactions, same surprises, same gambling.

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#5 Posted by Brian_ (29 posts) -

Suitable for 3 year olds apparently.

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#6 Posted by OurSin_360 (6226 posts) -

They said they had no gambling??? Well unless you can't buy VC anymore, then this is 100% gambling lol.

I haven't played 2k since 16, I'm still holding out hope that EA or another developer can make a basketball game with as good or better gameplay, because the microtransaction completely ruined 2k for me. And, even though I never played the card mode, this looks completely rotten.

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#7 Posted by konig_kei (1034 posts) -

Correction, they are surprise mechanics and they're fun. Look how much fun they are having, case closed.

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#8 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4583 posts) -

Wow. Up until now it seems like the move was to market the basketball game, focusing on the actual game & putting the michael transactions in the product that people will buy.

But now they're actively marketing the gambling aspect front and center and the basketball part is more of an afterthought in this trailer. The kind of art you get to see on your tradingcards. Which means that they're straight up speaking to the whales first & foremost. You want to spend some money on shinies? We got that in this game!


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#9 Posted by chaser324 (8719 posts) -

This trailer is pretty gross and shockingly brazen given all of the criticism that "surprise mechanics" have gotten in recent years.

NBA2K has been going harder and harder on microtransactions every year, to the extent that it has removed any desire I have to play the once excellent MyPlayer mode. This seems like it's just continuing down the same path.

With respect to this trailer and sports games in general, I think they're essentially obligated now to have some flavor of the "Ultimate Team" mode that EA started with FIFA. It makes such an obscene amount of money in most of these games that the executives and shareholders aren't going to tolerate a sports game not having it.

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#10 Edited by OurSin_360 (6226 posts) -

@onemanarmyy said:

Wow. Up until now it seems like the move was to market the basketball game, focusing on the actual game & putting the michael transactions in the product that people will buy.

But now they're actively marketing the gambling aspect front and center and the basketball part is more of an afterthought in this trailer. The kind of art you get to see on your tradingcards. Which means that they're straight up speaking to the whales first & foremost. You want to spend some money on shinies? We got that in this game!


To be fair, i feel like 2k has at least 3 or 4 different types of players and this really caters to one type (the ones who are real deep into that card deck mode that I can't remember the name of lol). Then there is the Story mode (myplayer) (single player or online) and then the Management sim player. I used to slide between the last 2 but the more microtransaction-y it got and with too much story, I stopped playing Myplayer all together.

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#11 Posted by Onemanarmyy (4583 posts) -


Oh sure, i know that it's still possible to find a few modes that stays clear of the stuff presented in this trailer and those parts are still pretty darn good. I'm just amazed that 2K dedicated a trailer that is so openly aimed at the whales to the point where the basketball is hardly part of the trailer.

Like Fifa 20 has two trailers out there that both focus on the gameplay (one on the new Volta mode, one on gameplay improvements). They don't even have to celebrate FUT with it's own trailer to get the whales to spend.

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#12 Edited by Big_Denim (847 posts) -

Can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm actually hopeful EA can save us and deliver a somewhat decent basketball game. Seems like they've at least somewhat learned from their mistakes after the Battlefront 2 fiasco.

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#13 Edited by Stephen_Von_Cloud (1696 posts) -

It's sad. I've been a NBA 2K guy for years but I started to notice how they only cared about shit like this and also it was ALWAYS getting worse in that regard. At least I think some games have fluctuated on the microtransaction type stuff back and forth, and now we are seeing some regulation come into it so who knows. But like others say, the balls to just have a slot machine is crazy.

Besides their effort to mostly put a lot of budget into a career story mode, the rest of the game feels like it has hardly changed or gotten worse. Every single year they say the dribbling is new and it usually feels similar or maybe worse. I skipped last year and may again. Which is crazy considering every year before I was playing 100+ hours for many years.

They don't put effort into making the game easier to play, improving the controls and presentation for things like plays so people can get into things and easier understand them. Training modes have gotten worse or dissapeared. Years ago they were doing things like modes that recreated historic games, players, and teams that I loved and that has entirely gone away. You can sadly see so in game when you compare the historic players who are still in to the modern players model wise.

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#14 Edited by Nodima (2654 posts) -

I've said it before, I'll say it again: I bought NBA 2K every year from ESPN NBA 2K5 through NBA 2K16 on release day. I played hundreds and hundreds of hours of ranked online matches and my Association (remember the simpler times, 2K fans?!) or MyGM save every year. Basketball is the one sport I follow and watch super closely (I follow baseball pretty closely, but don't watch until the playoffs, which I'll get to in a second) so their MyTeam mode should be the only thing I need every year.

But when you put it up against MLB The Show's Diamond Dynasty, it's so clear that MyTeam is a bloated, unforgiving mess that just preys on people like me. Where MLB The Show presents the value of a player like Ichiro Suzuki by representing him as he was in his prime, a speedster with a cannon arm and an uncanny ability to get slap singles out of seemingly impossible contact hits, NBA 2K presents Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's value to the modern NBA as...a stretch big man who can stroke the three and crossover into the paint.

2K also loads - overloads - their card game with things you just shouldn't care about. Basketball skins, playbooks, coaching profiles, injury recoveries (sorted by limb and number of games recovered), contracts of various tiers (yes, you can have a player on your roster and be unable to use that player), jerseys and court designs (in a mode where you design your own jerseys and courts), and countless other bullshit I'm sure but I can't remember. By contrast, MLB The Show's only frivolous pack inclusion are the parks and rituals, one of which you can sell immediately if you already have one and the other you can use to upgrade created players if you go that route.

In other words, I've still bought NBA 2K17, 2K18 and 2K19, but waited for a generous sale all three times (in the case of 19, a goddamn four dollar sale the week after the Finals ended) and generally have just played a handful of games against the CPU before uninstalling the game. The actual on court basketball carries so many legacy issues from its days as a PS2/PS3 workhorse that it feels like a bunch of old timers trying to keep up with the kids; back in the grit and grind era of the Spurs, Grizzlies, Celtics and Lakers the game was fantastic at feeling like an actual basketball game that you had a hand in, but it no longer feels like you're orchestrating the play you see on TV.

And for a guy who their MyTeam mode should be tailor made for, my TL;DR is this: I stopped caring about baseball around the time NBA 2K pulled me in and made me learn to love Steve Nash and the Suns, which spiraled from there into a deep obsession of the entire history of basketball and a reappreciation of what I had all those nights watching Michael Jordan's Bulls on WGN. MLB The Show's Diamond Dynasty actively made me a baseball fan again, to the point I listen to a daily 1.5 hour podcast about it and keep up with the leaderboards and standings pretty closely; NBA 2K's MyTeam mode put the nail in the coffin of my love for that franchise. The chasm between the two is so damn stark it's almost baffling to me.


Addendum: The most painful part is that most if not all reviews never talk about this because there is such a rift between the different kinds of sports gamers. If you look at any game's Reddit, all anyone talks about is the team building mode. If you look at any game's Operation Sports page, all anyone talks about is a game's franchise mode. If you read any review of a sports game, almost all you hear about anymore is their single player mode. On the one hand, it's great that these games can capture such diverse audiences, but especially on the critical front some of these sports games seemingly get graded on the one thing a reviewer can bang out in a week or two while they essentially ignore or glance at everything else, when I really feel a harsher eye is needed for a lot of these things.

I don't play Madden or FIFA or PES or any other huge sports game, but I've been ringing this bell for years and I wish somebody with a louder voice than me would get on it. Sports games aside from The Show are in a real toxic place right now and nobody is ringing the alarm because the only people deep in it are high school and college kids who don't know better, or adults who only play sports games anyway so they'll take what they can get.

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#15 Posted by gunflame88 (398 posts) -

If this is not exploitative, then I don't know what is.

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#16 Posted by xanadu (2052 posts) -

I wonder if I'm going to continue my trend of only buying odd numbered 2k games. They always seem to do something stupid on the even number years.