NBA 2K21's Unskippable Pre-Game Ads Were a Mistake, 2K Says

NBA 2K21's Unskippable Pre-Game Ads Were a Mistake, 2K Says

It doesn't sound like ads are necessarily going away, but 2K promises the issue "will be fixed in future episodes."

If a person spends $60 or maybe more on NBA 2K21 depending on whether they're securing a next-gen version, it'd be reasonable for that person to think they wouldn't need to sit through unskippable advertisements before playing. That's exactly what players have experienced, though—and now, at least in select instances, it seems 2K will backpedal a bit on stuffing its full-price sports game with ads.

Via the official NBA 2K Twitter, 2K has released a statement in response to the backlash inspired by the unskippable ads. "As many are aware, in recent years ads have been integrated into 2KTV segments," 2K says (indeed, NBA 2K20 also rankled fans with its inclusion of ads). The ads—first reported on by Stevivor on Monday—were, according to 2K, "not meant to run as part of the pre-game introduction."

"This will be fixed in future episodes," 2K concludes. "Thanks for your continued feedback."

That statement leaves a lot of wiggle room for 2K to still place ads in NBA 2K21, and besides enabling the option to skip them outright, it's hard to see how any other solution will sit better with frustrated players. With the ads running as they are now, even on PCs with solid-state hard drives, it seems like they're not being used to distract from load times. If 2K decides to remove the pre-game ad placements but then shuffles unskippable ads into the mid-game through the 2KTV broadcast wrapper, that likely wouldn't go over well either.

We'll have to wait and see what 2K's solution ends up being, and as it stands, there's also no guarantee it won't be different across the older and next-gen versions of 2K21. We've gotten a good look at NBA 2K21's improved graphics and animation features on next-gen, and it's possible that the next-gen releases could approach ads differently in order to show off the faster-than-PC load times on the new Xboxes and PS5. Plus, one could argue there's even less need for NBA 2K ads on next-gen considering the increased price.

NBA 2K21 is out now for PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and Google Stadia. The next-gen versions will launch day-and-date with Microsoft and Sony's new consoles, arriving for Xbox Series S/X on Nov. 10 and for PS5 on Nov. 12.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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