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What if microtransactions in NBA 2K actually did something in real life?

If We're Gonna Drop Cash Anyway, We Might As Well Be Amused
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Microtransactions, love ‘em or hate ‘em, are here to stay. AAA companies surely would keep pushing them into our beloved franchises and they’ll find more creative ways to monetize games. Just like blockbuster movies and TV series, product placement and in-game advertising will make their way into your gaming screens if it’s feasible to do so.

Remember that time when Final Fantasy XV did some collab with Audi for the Regalia? Would have been nice if I could pay $14.99 to get a Chocobo in real life. Or maybe get Gladio as my personal bodyguard for $19.99.

final fantasy xv microtransactions
It’s a sweet ride, you gotta admit

There’s that, and then there are the sports games. We’ve dropped an insane amount of money before with the trading cards and collectable card games in the past, so we’ve accepted microtransactions and licensing throughout our lives. I, for one, have paid a lot of money in grade school for those Panini sticker books and Marvel cards.

It’s quite funny how the microtransactions for these games are presented as collectible trading cards and how you buy them in packs instead of the dreaded loot boxes. In a way, kudos to the designers rebranding the much maligned image of loot boxes into friendlier forms of upsell strategies.

Microtransactions, unfortunately, are here to stay, so why not have fun with it? If they’re creative enough, I’m sure more gamers will pay just for the novelty and get their money’s worth with a bit of additional in-game content and added value to the mix. They don’t need to only be cosmetic, get creative!

While the argument for this case is that the microtransactions are largely cosmetic, to avail of popular athletes, you either had to grind for them or fork over some hard earned cash to enjoy. It pretty much follows the same model that some fighting games had for its premium characters, while they’re balanced enough, they still can be acquired by grinding them out.

If we’re going to have this grey area of microtransactions, why not make them more fun especially for games like NBA2K? Here are some weird ideas to elevate their microtransaction game.

If it isn’t quite obvious yet, this is a satire article. We’re just having fun!

Wellness Packages

Not only do we have to take care of our players’ bodies, but we also have to take care of their minds. You can avail of different packages through our standard package, where said player goes away for a certain time depending on their affliction. With microtransactions, you can fix the time lost by making their wellness programs instantaneous! Anger management costs $20, trauma rehab costs $50, self actualization costs $100. Imagine if those Detroit “Bad Boys” from the 80’s and 90’s were goody two shoes incapable of harm?

Convincing Retired Players To Come Out of Retirement

Do you want to see Jordan back with the Bulls? The Mailman back with the Jazz? See Penny and Shaq crush it back in Magic? They probably have microtransactions for that, but how about actually hiring agents to convince them to come back into retirement? You can make it as realistic as possible but also include a Free-to-Play version, where you can use time as a factor to convince such players and also bring them back to shape.

It would take 30 real-time days to bring Charles Barkley back, but you can reduce the time for him to get back into shape for an additional $30! How about Hakeem Olajuwon? $50! How about convincing the legend Michael Jordan for $100? You can throw-in some Nike and Hanes in-game advertising to reduce the time as well. The possibilities are endless.

Crowd Management

It’s pretty bleak right now with the pandemic watching live sports and seeing blow-up audiences on the sidelines. We miss the off court drama with celebrity guests drinking their prosecco and Drake pretending to be a spiritual coach for the Raptors. We can have microtransactions so invite said celebrities but also have microtransactions to get rid of them!

$20 to get rid of Spike Lee, $50 to get rid of Drake, and $100 to delete the Karadashians from this continuum. Also feel the love by actually seeing computer generated security escorting them out of the stadium. Changed your mind and you want more off-court drama? You could also pay to bring them back for half the price.

“Shenron, now that I’ve collected all 7 Dragon Balls, make me the GOAT,” said Lebron James before growing ram horns.

Dragonballs

Each Dragonball costs $20. Once you have five dragonballs, each corresponding one becomes $50. Collect all 7 Dragonballs to any wish to come true. Derrick Rose / Brandon Roy / Grant Hill never having an injury? How about MJ not retiring for the first time? Hey, it’ll cost you, better make it worth it!

Do you have other microtransaction ideas? Comment below or on our Facebook page and let’s give the devs ideas on how to get to our wallets creatively!

Author

Vincent Ternida moved Vancouver, Canada in 2006 and called it home ever since. He spends the lockdown catching up with his Japanese RPGs, writing his new manuscripts, and figuring out why he suddenly became the main character of the latest Haruki Murakami novel.

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