EA received a lot of flak last month for introducing advertisements in UFC 4 a month after launch, and the company eventually had to remove them following backlash. While fan outcry should have been a clear indicator to other companies that gamers are not a fan of this tactic of being forced to watch ads in a premium game, it appears that 2K Sports has done exactly the same with its latest release, NBA 2K21.
NBA 2K21 launched on current-gen consoles, PC, and Stadia on September 4, 2020, and is slated for release on next-gen consoles next month. Depending upon which version of the game you buy, you could end up paying a base price of $60 all the way up to $100. Regardless of it being a premium title, it appears that the publisher has decided to introduce unskippable advertisements in the game, a month after launch.
Stevivor recorded adverts for the Oculus Quest 2 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC editions of the title, during pre-game loading screens. The site says that sometimes these ads run even longer than it takes for NBA 2K21 to load, which is quite ridiculous, as it indicates that you're essentially being forced to watch an ad even though the game has fully loaded.
See one of the jarring ad in the video below:
The move is certainly despicable considering NBA 2K21 is a full-priced AAA game and that advertisements have been suddenly introduced a month after launch, without warning. That said, the publisher did the same with last year's entry in the franchise so while these ads are not entirely surprising, it's understandable that players are outraged that the company is continuing this practice.