NBA 2K19 Senior Producer Rob Jones Talks VC And Microtransactions

The average developer when talking about loot-boxes, microtransactions or some form of a live-service will often say that they add them in to “cover development costs” of a game or to bring players “added content” to enjoy later down the line and not to laugh all the way to the bank. Well, the cash raking and eyebrow-raising live service found in NBA 2K18 is said to be toned down in NBA 2K19.

Publication site had the chance to talk with NBA 2K19 senior producer, Rob Jones, to learn his take on live-service mechanics like Virtual Currency (VC) and he replied that “VC is an unfortunate reality of modern gaming.”

Jones elaborates on his belief that stuff like VC is an unfortunate reality of modern gaming because most people “don’t have the patience” to work their way to the top:

“Every game, at some point, in some way has currency and they’re trying to get additional revenue from each player that plays the game. You know, the question has to be when does it feel like it’s a straight money grab versus when does it feel like it’s value added, right?


We know nowadays that most people don’t have the patience to work their way to the top. They just wanna be there right away. So, you know, we look at it as, oh it’s an opportunity for us to allow you to skip the grind, but then if the grind is too long, like some people felt last year, they’re gonna sit there and they’re gonna go ‘well, you knew the grind was too long to begin with.”

According to Jones when he was talking to the publication site, he believes that with the new NBA 2K19 system that by rewarding players more they won’t need to go in and get a load of VC and that players won’t feel like “oh, this is how they’re getting me.” You can read his elaboration below:

“So we’re hoping that by rewarding you more that, A: you won’t need to go in and get as many things [VC] and B: you won’t feel like you know, ‘oh this is how they’re getting me.’ You can now participate in other things to get what you want.


I think the biggest problem last year was not knowing where you were going. A lot of the times you wasted VC that you had earned on things that weren’t necessary.”

Um, the last paragraph doesn’t even scratch the surface of problems with last year’s NBA 2K game, but I digress.

Jones thinks that ridiculous grinding in games are made up solely in a player’s head and not by force of the developers with the publication site citing Jones saying:

“Purchasing items seemingly outside of your reach, or requiring a fair bit of grinding, is “a choice, not a force” and hopes players will consider it as such.”

NBA 2K18 took things to a whole new level regarding the grind, the opening scene so that you could not properly refund the title, and the horrors surrounding the live-service.

Lastly, the annual pro-basketball game will release for PC via Steam, PS4, and Xbox One on September 11th, 2018, which should help those looking from the outside have a clear picture what will go down with the game’s live-service and progression system.