Microtransactions are an “unfortunate reality” of modern gaming, says NBA 2K19 producer

Speaking to Trusted Reviews, NBA 2K19 senior producer Rob Jones talked about some of the changes coming to the basketball sim this year.

Launching for PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch on September 11, NBA 2K19 will feature an assortment of new modes and refinements to last year’s excellent formula. ‘The Prelude’ demo is available now if you’re eager to try things out ahead of release. 

It will also tackle one of the more controversial elements: VC. The in-game currency was the subject of fan complaints last year as it felt too long to grind, hindering the game’s progression.

When asked about this, Rob Jones responded by saying that “VC is an unfortunate reality of modern gaming.”

“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. 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 know nowadays that most people don’t have the patience to work their way to the top. They just wanna be there right away. So, you know, we look at it as, oh it’s 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.”

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After playing the game for ourselves at a recent preview event, it’s clear that NBA 2K19 has taken fan feedback on board, although to what extent will become in clear once it releases next week.

The sense of reward in NBA 2K19 is improved drastically compared to previous entries thanks to community events and ‘The Neighbourhood.’ a new online hub area where players can meet and play together.

“So we’re hoping that by rewarding you more that, A: you won’t need to go in and get as many things [VC] and B: you won’t feel like you know,  ‘oh this is how they’re getting me.’ You can now participate in other things to get what you want.

I think the biggest problem last year was not knowing where you were going. A lot of the times you wasted VC that you had earned on things that weren’t necessary.”

Jones goes on to state that purchasing items seemingly outside of your reach, or requiring a fair bit of grinding, is “a choice, not a force” and hopes players will consider it as such.

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Our review of NBA 2K19 will be coming in the next week or so. For now, here’s what we thought of last year’s effort, which scored 9/10 in our verdict:

‘NBA 2K18 is very likely the best basketball game ever made and a template in how to approach a sports sim on nearly every level.’

Are you excited for NBA 2K19? Picking it up at launch? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews.