NBA 2K19 contains seemingly unskippable loading screen ads

Players are barely out of the locker rooms and finding they can’t get to the basketball court as fast as they’d like anymore. After a recent update, NBA 2K19 contains almost-unskippable ads on its loading screens. The intrusive advertisements are played off as “2KTV” in the game and largely focus on the TV series Snowfall.

The logic behind putting advertisements in games can sometimes make sense. Free-to-play games rely on advertising and in-game purchases to stay afloat. However, putting seemingly unskippable ads in a game some people paid $60 for is a questionable choice at best. Though it has happened before in games such as Street Fighter 5, the advertising was more subtle and went away as soon as the game loaded. NBA 2K19, on the other hand, makes players finish watching the entire ad regardless of how quickly the game loads.

The ad itself is also causing some players to raise eyebrows. The series Snowfall dramatizes the rise of cocaine usage in 1980’s Los Angeles. For a game rated E for Everyone, the decision to advertise a show about drug use doesn’t seem wise. That said, the advertisements will likely change or disappear since Snowfall is getting ready to launch its third season on July 10. Perhaps after that players will get something else, though it would be better if there were no advertisements to begin with.

While 2K hasn’t made any comments on the matter as of writing, there is one lucky workaround that everyone can use to avoid the advertising debacle. There is an option in the menus to turn off 2KTV, which before now had been used to ask players trivia questions and reward them when they got them right. Most players have reported that shutting off 2KTV stops the advertisements.

Given the outrage, it would be surprising if 2K says nothing or chooses to continue using in-game advertisements. We’ll have to see what the team does for 2K20.