NBA 2K19 senior producer Rob Jones has claimed in-game currency and microtransations are an "unfortunate reality of modern gaming."
Speaking to Trusted Reviews, Jones was responding to fans who've complained about VC, the in-game currency used in the NBA 2K series (published by 2K Sports), and how it has previously stifled progress by taking too long to grind.
Addressing those concerns, he explained the system is simply part and parcel of modern design, but conceded that it's up to developers to ensure players don't feel like they're being held to ransom.
"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," he explained. "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.'"
With that in mind, Jones claims the latest entry will give players more ways to earn VC through new community events and an interactive hub area, hopefully speeding up progression.
The producer's comments come shortly after 2K asked players in Belgium to speak out in favor of loot boxes, with the publisher being forced to amend NBA 2K to comply with the country's revised gambling laws.