NBA 2K14's Always-On DRM, Microtransactions Get Blasted By Kotaku

By William Usher 11 months ago discussion comments
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This issue keeps popping up ever so slightly; a few more gamers from one lurking corner of the community or the other comes forward to see the issue and slink in a smarmy response or declare their disgust and repugnance over this debacle. It keeps rearing its head as some kind of deformed and ugly mole looking for recognition and a place amongst those who would accept its hideous and uncouth appearance. What am I talking about? I'm talking about the disfigured tragedy that is now NBA 2K14 from 2K Sports.

Kotaku recently did a editorial column addressing and rolling out all the game's faults as they stand. It's not just a recount of issues brought forward by angry fans and dedicated gamers, it's an honest depiction of mistrust employed by shady business tactics by a once trustworthy branch of Take-Two Interactive.

Kotaku's Owen Good doesn't just address 2K Sports' unwelcoming issues as a journalist conveying the thoughts and feelings of an angry mob who feels as if their voices aren't being properly heard or addressed by an oftentimes hollow and shortsighted media. He addresses the issues as a fellow gamer; someone peeved that he's on the bad end of a poor set of business decisions that embraces nothing good.

Owen writes...
“Server availability in NBA 2K14 doesn't just affect online leagues, ranked multiplayer matches, and modes like "The Park," a kind of virtual pick-up game. Because of how NBA 2K14 saves its files on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, it can lock players out of offline modes too, like MyCareer and My GM.”

“Why 2K requires singleplayer career mode progress to be verified online by the 2K Sports servers is so far unexplained. It likely has to do with Virtual Currency, which is the cash gamers use to do all sorts of things across all of the game's modes, online and offline.”

We wrote previously about the troubles plaguing NBA 2K14 and how many reviewers completely skipped over the game's troubled microtransaction and DRM issues. It's been a festering blight on the gaming community that just keeps seething.

It is sad that 2K Games never addressed why this kind of DRM is necessary. We just reported on Order of War: Challenge's always-on DRM situation in which gamers expressed their distaste for the way Valve had the game removed from user's libraries and Square-Enix shut the servers down for good... removing from the history books yet another game plagued by always-on DRM.

Effectively, this continues to put a short life-span on these titles; players must get in good and fast to play these always-on titles because when the servers go kaput you're left with nothing but the thoughts of digital dust and the timeless echoes of memories that fade with every passing generation.

It's good that Kotaku has returned to this issue that has cropped up every so often since the game's debut on the new generation Xbox and PlayStation. The complaints about DRM isn't just something limited to the online play either.

There was even a recent issue that occurred where one of our readers Tweeted us the following DRM check-in issue while using the game disc.


It's an unfortunate reality but gamers are on the losing end of a DRM battle that was once relegated to the PC gaming audience and has now infiltrated and taken a stranglehold on console gaming, too.

Slowly and surely, games like Destiny and Titanfall will creep up on the community and continue to strip away your ownership rights via bypassing the disc and relying on “the power of the Cloud”, rendering the disc useless once the servers eventually shutdown.

Despite some companies aiming to do right by the community, such as CD Projekt RED – as mentioned in their recent interview with Ars Technica – the real question is how long will gamers and gaming media put up with losing the historical value of digital culture in the face of unchecked greed?

Games For Windows Live anyone?
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