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Solving NBA 2K18’s VC Issue

/ Dec 20th, 2017 No Comments

NBA 2K18 VC Issue

Virtual currency is nothing new to the NBA 2K franchise. The in-game monetary system was introduced in 2012’s NBA 2K13 and has been a staple of the series since. However, no previous iteration has caused as much uproar over virtual currency than NBA 2K18.

This can partly be attributed to a major glitch that affected many players during the game’s launch. Some players decided to supplement their brand new copy of NBA 2K18 by using real-world dollars to purchase virtual currency. After creating their MyCareer players and upgrading them with purchased VC, a glitch caused the game to crash and created players to disappear. Not only did 2K players lose their created characters, but they also lost their characters’ progress that was paid for.

2K was able to correct this error for the most part, but not the impact it had on the game’s large community. After years of apathy concerning the in-game financial system, players quickly turned against NBA 2K’s virtual currency.

Many criticized the high cost and level exclusivity of digital items while others lamented the fact that players who refuse to pay for VC are left to grind through hundreds of hours of gameplay just to become competitive in some game modes. All of these arguments against VC are legitimate, but 2K could solve the biggest issue with its digital currency by not making it a universal currency across multiple game modes.

How Virtual Currency Works in NBA 2K18

In NBA 2K18, virtual currency is earned via a number of different ways. Players can earn VC by playing just about any game mode as they normally would. For example, NBA games in MyCareer net players VC based on their performance, and both simulated and player-controlled games in MyGM provide VC payouts.

VC can be used to improve your custom character’s skills in MyCareer and purchase cosmetic items, such as sneakers, clothes and headbands. Haircuts also require the use of VC, and 2K bowed to poor fan feedback when NBA 2K18 initially charged a ridiculous amount of virtual currency merely to change a character’s hair style.

NBA 2K18

Spending real money on virtual items?

NBA 2K18 also features “MyTeam coins,” another form of in-game currency specifically for the game’s card-collecting MyTeam mode. Players can earn MC by playing MyTeam games and use it to purchase card packs (cards can also be bought with VC, but MC is typically the better option).

So, why would NBA 2K use two forms of currency? The better question: Why doesn’t NBA 2K use more than two forms of currency?

Solving the Global Grind

2K is making its way into esports with the 2K League. The company is constantly touting its impressive ability to create players and compete with friends on the court. However, in order to really compete in the game’s park, you’ll have to spend real-world money on VC or grind for countless hours to increase your character’s abilities.

Microtransactions are boosting NBA 2K’s profitability to new levels, so don’t expect them to be removed from the franchise anytime soon. However, 2K could make the experience better for all types of players by changing the way the in-game currency works.

NBA 2K18 Park

Competing on the park costs money or time.

Like MC is separate from VC, creating two distinct currency systems in MyCareer would level the playing field and make it easier to purchase in-game items. 2K could let players continue to use Virtual Currency to increase their character’s abilities, but also introduce MyCareer Coins that can be utilized only to purchase clothing, tattoos and other in-game items. VC would continue to work much in the same way it currently does, while MyCareer Coins could be earned only in game modes that involve the player’s custom character.

For 2K, this should not cause much harm when it comes to microtransactions. Players will still make purchases so that their players can be skilled the moment they step out on the court, and others will not hesitate to spend on in-game clothing without having to play through multiple games.

From a player perspective, this solution may not solve the issue of grinding, but it would at least eliminate the difficult decisions players have when deciding whether to refresh their character’s style or improve their character’s skills. This system would allow grinding to accomplish more than one goal, and it would create a much more player-friendly experience in NBA 2K going forward.


Ryan Bloom

Ryan Bloom

Chief Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ryan Bloom is a writer and avid gamer from Orange County. He received a B.A. in Communications with a minor in American Studies from California State University, Fullerton in 2010. Follow him on Twitter @BloomsTweets.
Ryan Bloom

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