NBA 2K21 is seeing its price increase on next-gen platforms in addition to some bothersome practices when it comes to cross-gen compatibility.
One of the biggest lingering questions surrounding the upcoming launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X has come in regards to pricing. Not only when it comes to the value of the consoles themselves, but the games for each platform as well. As of today, we’ve now seen our first indication of what might confirm that next-gen titles will be more expensive than what we’ve become accustomed to over the past decade.
2K Games announced today that the next-gen iteration of NBA 2K21 will instead retail for $69.99 rather than the typical fare of $59.99 which has become commonplace for AAA games. While this doesn’t outright confirm that every other publisher in the industry will follow suit, it does seem to show that we could be in line for games getting a price increase for the first time in over a decade.
Along with costing $69.99 on next-gen platforms, NBA 2K21 is also making some questionable decisions when it comes to cross-gen compatibility. Rather than all editions of the game on current generation consoles being able to transfer over to PS5 and Xbox Series X, 2K Games is only allowing the Mamba Forever Edition of NBA 2K21 to make the jump to next-gen. This means that if you buy the current version of the title in September, you’ll have to drop $99.99 on the highest-valued edition of the game in order to then get it for “free” when new platforms launch. Otherwise, you’ll just have to buy the game twice.
What’s incredibly frustrating about this is that the Mamba Forever Edition of NBA 2K21 doesn’t really contain anything different compared to other versions. While it does feature different box art, the only other notable addition in this SKU comes in the way of extra in-game currency and unlockables. The Mamba Forever Edition is quite literally the exact same game, meaning that there’s no reason the standard edition shouldn’t be cross-gen compatible other than, well, greed.
All in all, this move isn’t surprising on Take-Two Interactive’s part. The NBA 2K series has been one of the gaming industry’s most egregious offenders of monetization practices in recent years. I mean, we’re talking about a franchise that quite literally features ATM machines in-game that you can walk up to in order to purchase more VC, which is the series’ form of virtual currency. To see Take-Two trying to milk every dime that they can out of this franchise is nothing new whatsoever, and in my opinion, is one of the biggest reasons as to why the NBA 2K has been getting worse over the years.
In a console leap where backward compatibility should be a major selling point, Take-Two is setting a bad precedent for the future. Hopefully, other publishers do not carry out similar tactics, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they did. This is the video game industry we’re talking about, after all.
NBA 2K21 will launch alongside both the Xbox Series X and PS5 later this holiday season.