Pay2Win in NBA 2K22: Has 2K learned from the last shitstorm?

Pay2Win in NBA 2K22: Has 2K learned from the last shitstorm?

Pay2Win in NBA 2K22

The NBA 2K series from Visual Concepts and Publisher 2K is remarkable in its own way. If you just look at the action on the court - with the great graphics, the buttery-smooth animations and the TV-ready staging - then there has probably never been another video game that could capture the fascination of a sport so realistically and concisely. And we can pay this compliment to almost every series offshoot from the last decade.

Pay2Win in NBA 2K22: Has 2K learned from the last shitstorm?

1st USK downgrades NBA 2K22 for the first time with " 12 years "a 2. Microtransactions in" My Career "mode 3. Microtransactions in" MyTeam "mode 4. What content can be done without microtransactions? 5. Butter with the fish: Did 2K learn from the last Shitstorm? At the same time, every NBA-2K part has seen lousy user ratings on platforms like Metacritic or Steam in recent years, and in many cases the negative ratings are based on the microtransactions around which 2K has been building some of the most important game modes for several years. From our point of view, the 20s-year-olds, who practically celebrated gambling with loot boxes and mini-game machines in casino style, were particularly worrying. But the same applies all too often to the other series parts: if you put money into the in-game currency VC, you will be happy about tangible advantages. Anyone who does not want to invest any money apart from the purchase price has to torment themselves through a tough grind.


Pay2Win in NBA 2K22 | Did 2K Sports learn from the last Shitstorm? loadVideoPlayer ('84441', '& sAdSetCsategory = article_featured', 12, '16: 9 ', false, 1379666, false, 277662, 260, false, 0,' ',' ', false); NBA 2K22 from € 83.50 The crux: The criticism is not noticeable in the sales figures and income. 2K earns a golden nose every year with the NBA simulation and can even generate record sales here and there. In 2020 alone, the publisher is said to have earned around $ 889 million with NBA 2K21 and around $ 771 million with NBA 2K20. Among the "premium" games with purchase price, only GTA V (991 million), FIFA 20 (1.083 billion) and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (1.913 billion) were more successful that year.

NBA 2K22: VC can be earned or bought - the choice is yours. Source: PC Games

USK classifies NBA 2K22 for the first time as "12 years and over"

Let's keep in mind: Up until now, 2K simply had no reason to reduce the level of microtransactions. The new guiding criteria of the entertainment software self-control (USK), which NBA 2K22 (buy now € 83.50) for the first time in this millennium marked with a "Approved for ages 12 and up", will probably not change that.

As a reason the USK told GamesWirtschaft: "With the game mentioned, the committee responsible for deciding on the age rating could not rule out that children under the age of 12 would get used to gambling due to the design." Only from the age of 12 the necessary maturity is given to perceive the gambling elements built into NBA 2K22 as a fictional game component.

NBA 2K22: Ballers who are self-respecting, VC not only put in values, but also in cool clothes. Source: PC Games NBA 2K22 stands out from the Lootbox-esque playing cards from FIFA 22, because in the latest basketball simulation from 2K there are again a series of mini-games that have the mechanics and features of classic games of chance, which younger children get used to and / or trivialization of gambling.

Microtransactions in "My Career" mode

NBA 2K22 now also has a quest system that you can use to earn the in-game currency VC, among other things can. Source: PC Games Despite the higher age rating this year, we have to state after our round of play: Visual Concepts does not do more (but also not less) with NBA 2K22 in order to earn money with the new NBA 2K part apart from the purchase price than in recent years too. In plain language this means that in the game modes "MyTeam" and "My Career" the in-game currency VC is once again playing an important role, and it is precisely this currency that you can earn or buy for real money.

In "Meine Career ", for example, is all about the eponymous career of your self-created avatar, which you can develop from a rookie to an NBA legend. And how do you increase the attributes of your baller? Of course, by investing your VC, and not too tightly. VC is not only available in 2k22 through completed games, through daily mini-game rewards or from your sponsors. In the new part you can also expect a quest system, like in a role-playing game, and lots of potential quest givers and quests that are spread over the whole city (Playstation 5, Xbox Series) or a large cruise ship (PS4, Xbox One, PC).

NBA 2K22: In the "Open World" of "Meine Karriere" there are even halls in which you can play with other teams for large amounts of VC (and thus also for money). Source: PC Games

Despite this additional source of income, the first few months of your career feel like hard work if you only earn VC. Your values ​​are poor and that of course also applies to your chance of success or the assist numbers. With a lot of money you can, on the other hand, tinker with a rookie in franchise player format from minute 1 of the game and destroy your opponents. If the "My Career" mode were a purely offline story: no problem!

The plot about your rising star is closely linked to all online content in the open world, and every one of it belongs to this Lots of multiplayer challenges and quests. A player who does not buy a VC has hardly a chance against opponents with a thick wallet - especially in the first few weeks. Especially on the PC, a lot of cheaters and bot users are supposed to be up to mischief in the multiplayer matches. NBA2K veterans already know the problem from the last few years.

NBA 2K22: If you want to increase the values ​​of the freshly created avatar in "My Career" mode to an all-star level, you need a lot of VC. Source: PC Games

Microtransactions in "MyTeam" mode

NBA 2K22: Yeah! We were able to sign LeBron James as a free agent. Now we just have to get enough contract extensions. Source: PC Games The microtransactions in "MyTeam" mode are in the foreground even more clearly. Similar to FIFA's Ultimate Team mode, the aim here is to use player cards to put together a team that is as powerful as possible, with which you can rock various game modes integrated in "MyTeam" and dominate other players.

You expand your own card collection , similar to the TCG classic Magic: The Gathering, with card packs where you never know exactly what you will get for the VC (or MT) currency or the money. In other words: You are dealing with real loot boxes, the contents of which are determined by the factor of chance. And similar to gambling, the brain kicks in with these card packs when you win the main prize (read: the particularly rare card from a superstar).

NBA 2K22: Every time a tingling moment: A card pack is opened . Source: PC Games Very early on in the "MyTeam" structure, the game fixes you with well-known free agents such as Giannis Antetokounmpo or LeBron James, who then only have a contract for a few games. If you want to sign these players longer, you need contract extensions that can be bought or found in card packs. The player cards are also available in different quality levels, some cards can be developed, and you can also unlock all kinds of other stuff, such as coaches, logos or historical arenas.

And how are the prices? Well, 5,000 VC are already available for 1.99 euros. You get 15,000 VC for 4.99 euros, 35,000 VC for 9.99 euros and 75,000 VC for 19.99 euros. The largest packages (200,000 or 450,000 VC) finally cost 49.99 euros and 99.99 euros, respectively. So that confusion is as high as possible, there are very different card packs in "MyTeam" mode: Deluxe packs with 5 cards each for 5,625 VC (around 2.24 euros), special Premiere packs for 22,500 VC (around 7.50 euros) as well as primetime or colossal packs, which are significantly more expensive than the deluxe pack (7,500 VC or 11,250 VC for one pack each), but also guarantee a random primetime or colossal player. With such an offer, newbies should have no idea what the value for the money looks like.

NBA 2K22: In "MyTeam" mode you can invest your money in very different card packs. Source: PC Games

What content can be used without microtransactions?

Before we come to a final conclusion, we would like to point out that in NBA 2K22 - as in previous years - there are a number of game modes that do completely without the virtual currency VC. In "My NBA" you have always been able to determine the fate of an entire franchise and crown your favorite team a champion - including current squads. Alternatively, you can jump into streetball matches, challenge other players online or play current NBA games. In addition, there is the once again noticeably expanded WNBA area, which revolves around the best women's basketball league in the world.

With the franchise modes for NBA and WNBA alone, you can spend hundreds of hours without even one to think about buying VC. But here, too, we see a problem: in most cases, these modes have been around for many years in an almost unchanged form. And if you look at the areas in which the developers put the most energy year after year, you quickly end up with the VC formats "MyTeam" and "Meine Karriere".

NBA 2K22: In the " Open World "from" Meine Karriere "even has halls in which you can play with other teams for large amounts of VC (and thus also for money). Source: PC Games

Butter with the fish: Has 2K learned from the last Shitstorm?

The answer is a resounding no. In the two main modes of NBA 2K22 - "MyTeam" and "My Career" - the in-game currency VC is still ubiquitous. Why should 2K learn from the criticism when the ruble is still rolling and waving record sales with the strategy of recent years?

From our point of view, it doesn't help that the casino line is no longer so aggressive drives like in NBA 2K20 or that one has now introduced another VC source with the quests. Or that there are individual game modes in which you are spared the VC. Anyone who has criticized the microtransactions of the NBA 2K series in recent years will not be happy with the youngest offshoot either. We can only advise all parents to take the USK-12 classification seriously and to take a close look at which game modes the offspring are playing.

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