Dumb Mondays: Fantasy Modes Are Ruining NBA Games

NBA Live 14 Ultimate Team Logo

This is Dumb Mondays, starting the workweek off with silly facts or some of my opinions and predictions that you may or may not find interesting. This week I am sharing a dumb opinion and will be looking for and responding to your comments throughout the week.

I honestly do not know if Fantasy Mode is the correct classification for EA Sports’ Ultimate Team and NBA 2K’s MyTEAM, but that is what I am going with. Technically any mode that has user input beyond the current rosters can be considered a fantasy mode but I think that these card collecting (damn, that is a good way to describe it too) modes are ruining our yearly basketball video games.


NBA Live 14 Ultimate Team Packapalooza

MyTEAM and Ultimate Team have completely offset the other traditional modes by taking over NBA 2K14 and NBA Live 14. What happens every 5 levels of experience you gain in NBA Live 14? Free Ultimate Team pack of course. It doesn’t matter if your main mode is Rising Star or Dynasty, every 5 levels you get Ultimate Team content. The Twitter and Facebook accounts for these games keep their focus on these fantasy modes too. It feels like everything I see about the games today has to do with new legendary players in Ultimate Team or a new batch of diamond Kobe Bryant locker codes dropping at some specific time and place.

NBA 2K14 Jao's MyTEAM Lineup

The user response is worse. You cannot go for more than a few seconds on LD2K’s regular livestreams before seeing someone begging for a MyTEAM code. At first I legitimately thought it was the social accounts trying to cram as much of this pay-for-wins-or-grind-your-heart-out mode, but instead it seems like they are just responding to the social demand. I would not be surprised at all if some locker code beggar ends up on this page from Google because I said “Diamond Kobe” and “Locker Codes” (and for fun, “Diamond Durant” hope you enjoyed your visit to NLSC).

NBA 2K14 Next Gen: Full Collection in MyTEAM

Maybe it’s the modder in me who sees these player cards as the slight edits they are, or lazy enough to see how silly it is to play for hours to get 1 random shot at trying to unlock 1 specific player or uniform. That doesn’t change the biggest issue with these damn modes, they’re perfect. Ultimate Team and MyTEAM are by far the most polished modes in NBA Live 14 and NBA 2K14, they have the best replayability, they are addicting to all hell, and most importantly they make EA Sports and 2K money. I skipped out on the NBA Street Homecourt DLC because I hate add-on DLC that much…but I have spent $10 on Ultimate Team.

EA Sports Ultimate Team

So for the hardcore, casual, and every other player in between, is there any point in dedicating time to MyCAREER, MyGM, Rising Star, Dynasty, or even LIVE Season challenges? Look at all the buzz on social media for these modes, is it possible for a fanbase of a different mode to get a say anymore? Do you think FIFA, Madden, or NHL’s other modes have suffered because of Ultimate Team’s presence? Am I wrong in thinking that Fantasy Modes have ruined the rest of the game?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading this dumb opinion.

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3 Comments on "Dumb Mondays: Fantasy Modes Are Ruining NBA Games"

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May 13, 2014 1:41 am

I and LUT and MyTEAM constantly emitted randomly. Quarter, two or three, and then fly, and all achievements are reset, and contracts “burn”. I play on Xbox One.
Also do not like the system of contracts: Player can use a highly restricted number of times.

May 14, 2014 7:02 pm

The worst thing about these is that, as you said Jao, they are ADDICTING. I mean, people that usually don’t spend money on DLCs and payed content now pay up to 100 bucks for uniforms, players! I like playing the normal association myself. If you really want some fantasy, use the fantasy draft!

May 14, 2014 7:29 pm

I don’t know that I’d agree that they’re ruining the games, but I do know where you’re coming from. They’ve been getting a lot of focus on social media, but I think part of that’s because the concept lends itself well to community chatter, not unlike collecting real trading cards. The only thing missing is the ability to hold onto duplicates and trade them with friends…perhaps something they could look into for future games, as these modes aren’t going anywhere.

Seeing some of the extra work that went into Dynasty the more I delved into it, as well as MyGM and MyCAREER (even though I don’t like the linear approach they’ve gone with in the PS4/X1 version)…I think there’s still a lot of interest in those modes, and time being spent developing them.

I definitely feel that NBA Live 14’s model works best, as far as the value you get from packs, the rewards you get from within Ultimate Team, and the ability to get some rewards by playing other modes. Perhaps I’m being naively optimistic, but the fact that these modes are functioning so well probably means they can spend more time developing other modes. It’s just a matter of providing new content throughout the year for Ultimate Team and MyTEAM to keep it fresh and interesting, and in MyTEAM’s case, offering better rewards/value from the outset.