NBA Live 19 Developer Comments on Microtransaction Usage in NBA 2K's Single-Player

During a recent interview, NBA Live 19 Creative Director Ryan Santos commented on the inclusion of microtransactions in single-player after the backlash NBA 2K18 received.

By Tomas Franzese

August 24, 2018

The team at EA Tiburon will be releasing NBA Live 19 for PS4 and Xbox One on September 7, and will almost immediately have to directly compete with NBA 2K19, which launches just a few days after. One of the biggest challenges for the EA development team is making their basketball game stand out from its popular competitor, and they now seem to be doing so in a more benevolent way: no microtransactions in single-player.

For those of you who aren’t aware, NBA 2K18 received some backlash for including some very intrusive microtransactions in single-player, locking more things than ever behind VC, which stands for Virtual Currency. While the game still went on to be the best-selling entry in the series, it did leave a bad taste in a lot of players mouths.

Last month, DualShockers attended and EA Sports event and talked with NBA Live 19 Creative Director Ryan Santos. During this interview, I brought up the NBA 2K18 microtransaction controversy and asked if the backlash to that game impacted the development of NBA Live 19 or its single-player mode The One in any significant way.

The Creative Director was able to confidently say no and explain how the developers at EA Tiburon never had any plans to implement premium currency into the game’s single-player mode. Ryan Santos also reiterated how they want players to feel rewarded for the time they spend with NBA Live 19, and that they want to differentiate themselves from the NBA 2K series wherever it is possible:

“It’s funny because it actually didn’t really impact how we did things because we were always creating a game that didn’t have any pay-for progression models in single player. Within The One, everything you do, everything you earn, everything you purchase in the store, it’s all through regular currency. There is no premium currency anywhere within The One.

We always said to ourselves that we wanted to stick with that and we actually wanted to reward players for the time that they spent with the game, so we kept down that path for NBA Live 19. So it really didn’t impact what we wanted to do within The One. We never had plans to follow what our competitor does there because we’re always looking at how we can be different and offer something different to our players.”

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While EA has fallen under its fair share of microtransaction-fueled controversy due to its implementation in games like Star Wars Battlefront II, the developers at EA Tiburon at least seem to have the right idea when it comes to NBA Live 19’s single-player. While the game may have microtransactions elsewhere, we can at least expect them to stay out of single-player this year.

You can expect the full interview soon on DualShockers. NBA Live 19 will hit PS4 and Xbox One on September 7, and you can currently pre-order it on Amazon. 

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Tomas Franzese

Tomas Franzese is a News Editor at DualShockers, writing a variety of reviews and shedding light on upcoming games for both PC and consoles. While he has been a gamer most of his life, he began writing for DualShockers in 2016 and has almost never put his computer or a controller down since.

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