By CCN Markets: 2K Sports has unveiled a new trailer for basketball game NBA 2K20’s revamped card-based MyTeam mode and it is as ridiculous as it is head-ache inducing gambling spot.
The fast-paced scene jumps, the explosive colors that would be more at home in a kid’s TV show, and the countless mini-games befitting a mobile game rather than a fully-fledged triple-A sports title are just scratching the surface.
Underneath all the bravado of NBA stars feigning palpable enjoyment, there’s a veiled gambling eco-system that might very well rival EA’s aggressive monetization at its peak.
With 2K’s use of clear-cut gambling references such as the use of terms like jackpot alongside visual representations of playing chips, slot machines, and an approximation of a roulette wheel, the video is a bit like stepping into a demented virtual dive bar come casino. Then, there’s a vertical ball drop mini-game which would be right at home in an arcade.
It’s a confusing mix that begs the question of who exactly is 2K targeting with this ostensibly improved MyTeam mode that looks uncannily akin to last year’s iteration. The randomized card packs are eerily similar to Pokemon cards down to foil wraps, and the neon hues present in every UI interface wouldn’t exactly appeal to anyone with a shred of taste over the age of ten.
Aside from the ethical quagmire of promoting gambling to children, 2K has nailed the aesthetic – we’ll give the developer that. The casino vibe is so aggressively pushed that it’s genuinely hard to see how basketball weaves itself into this sensory overloading mess.
The worst part has got to be how 2K appears to dangle cards stamped with the names of the NBA’s most iconic personalities to lure players into spending even more money to be in with a randomized, highly unlikely chance of bagging them. The video doesn’t even try to disguise this as landing the coveted LeBron James card results in cries of unadulterated joy.
The fact an E ESRB rating (as in E for everyone – suitable for all ages) is emblazoned into the bottom right-hand corner for the first five seconds of the video has got to be the cherry on top though.
If the FTC comes a-knocking at 2K’s door before long, we wouldn’t surprise us.