2K has added unskippable ads into NBA 2K21 pre-game loading screens, Stevivor has today confirmed.
Acting on a tip from a reader, we’ve sighted — and recorded — ads for the Oculus Quest 2 that now appear inside the PS4, Xbox One and Windows PC versions of the game. They’re unskippable, attached to a pre-game video called “MyTEAM Season 2, Episode 7” that’s auto-started in a loading screen that takes longer than the ad runs (even on a PC running from an SSD).
As you can see above (Xbox One at top, PS4 at bottom), the ad runs in full on before a user can hit a button to continue. While we’ve not recorded the experience on PC, we’ve sighted that the experience is the same.
Back in September, EA drew ire for a similar move, adding in-game adds to UFC 4 and its replays; so much so, the publisher quickly removed them.
“It is abundantly clear from your feedback that integrating ads into the Replay and overlay experience is not welcome,” EA said at the time. “The advertisements have been disabled by the team and we apologize for any disruption to gameplay that players may have experienced.”
Largely, customers were annoyed that they were made to watch unskippable ads after paying for a full-priced game. Perhaps ironically, NBA 2K21 will charge players extra should they wish to play the current-gen title on next-gen devices.
We’ve asked 2K for comment on this matter.
NBA 2K21 is already available on Windows PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch and Stadia. It heads to Xbox Series S and X on 10 November, followed on PS5 from 12 November.
With additional reporting by Steve Wright.