NBA 2K21 Gets Unskippable Ads a Month After Release

Loading screens in NBA 2K21 now feature ads that can't be skipped and prevent players from continuing with their game

By Otto Kratky

October 19, 2020

2K is continuing its often horribly received implementation of unskippable ads in the latest NBA 2K title, NBA 2K21. Unskippable ads were also present in NBA 2K20 and NBA 2K19. Similarly to NBA 2K20 though, 2K seemingly decided to hold off on adding these ads to the game until now, a little over a month after the game’s release, and far past the release of reviews for the game.

These ads show up in NBA 2K21 during loading screens and have to play out in full before players can press a button and continue on with their game. Seemingly, that’s regardless of how long the game actually takes to load. On current-gen consoles, the difference between load time and the length of ads may not be that different, but that story is sure to change when NBA 2K21 releases on next-gen consoles and is able to load games in a fraction of the time.

Next-gen versions of 2K21 will also cost more than the base current-gen version of the game, coming in at $70. It should be noted that in-game ads are mostly used in free-to-play titles, where microtransactions are the main source of income for the game’s developer and publisher, unlike full-priced AAA releases.

To nobody’s surprise, 2K21 players are upset with 2K’s addition of ads a month after the game’s release. Over on the NBA2K subreddit, some jaded players are already used to this treatment but are upset nonetheless. Others are simply astounded at 2K’s decision, with one user saying that “It’s the principle, I spent 100 bucks on the Kobe, and you are going to force ads on me? That’s scummy imo.”

As of writing, it’s not clear if these ads are here to stay or if they’ll persist in the next-gen versions of NBA 2K21.

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