Yes You Spent Money On This, But What If You Also Spent More?
NBA 2K21 is taking some heat online after fans discovered in-game ads. They didn’t show up immediately, magically appearing a month after release. Maybe they hoped nobody would notice? Like, these videos pushing the Oculus Quest 2 that make every loading screen 15 seconds longer than it needs to be? Those ads? Yeah, people definitely noticed them, guys.
You’d think that 2K Games would have learned their lesson after this exact thing happened last year. I guess fan outrage is worth less than advertising dollars. To be fair, most things on the planet Earth are worth less than advertising dollars. Companies are pretty happy to drop a GDP or two to make sure you see their toothpaste, or pubic hair trimmers, or luxury cars. So far it’s just EA and 2K pulling these shenanigans, but the rest of the AAA crew likely isn’t far behind. Who cares about consumer outrage when it pays so well, amirite???
Well, video games, I’ve got terrible news. Players vote with their wallets. You can’t even whisper Denuvo into a seashell on a deserted beach without your latest release being downvoted to oblivion. Gamers are a sensitive, savvy lot, ready to move mountains in the face of corporate greed. It’s not like these complaints come at the tail end of record-breaking sales! It’s not as if waves of consumer outrage have never taken down even one single company ever in the history of the medium! Never mind the contrary evidence I found after five minutes of research.
Outrage generates clicks like coal in a train engine, but it doesn’t hurt who it’s supposed to. If gamers really want to stick it to these enormous corporate homunculi, they’ve got to actually vote with their wallets. Otherwise, publishers like EA and Take-Two will just lay people off until the stocks start going up again. In other words, the only way to defeat these advertisements is to never see them. Even if that requires never buying the games in question.