NBA 2K21 has been out for about a month on current-gen consoles, PC, and Stadia, and it's ramping up to its next-gen launch. A new addition has players frustrated with their current full-price purchase, however, as users are reporting unskippable advertisements have been inserted in loading screens.
Noted by NBA 2K players and first reported on by Stevivor, ads for the Oculus Quest 2 have been dropped into NBA 2K21. In Stevivor's video below, you can see the ad run while the game loads, with the player unable to edit their lineups or continue forward until the ad's completion. Stevivor reports this is happening on all platforms, even on PC running off an SSD.
This addition, as one Reddit thread notes, comes a month after launch and long after critics have spent time with the game and players have already purchased it. This isn't the first time NBA 2K has brushed with in-game ads, either; last year's NBA 2K instituted a similar ad run, which was also not very popular with players. Electronic Arts also drew criticism for its insertion of ads into UFC 4, though they were later removed.
NBA 2K is currently ramping up for the launch of its next-gen versions of NBA 2K21, which admittedly look pretty good. That said, ads like these are bound to draw ire from players, especially when they're put into a full-price game. NBA 2K21's next-gen version is coming in at $10 more than its current-gen version, and having unskippable ads in a $70 video game isn't likely to keep everyone happy.
NBA 2K21 hits PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S on their respective launch dates. For PS5, that's Nov. 12, 2020, while Xbox Series X and S arrives on Nov. 10.