Saber Interactive has released a Roster Unlock add-on for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One versions of NBA Playgrounds. The add-on allows gamers to automatically unlock all current players, as well as every free player that will be added to the game in the future. It’s available at a cost of $9.99 USD.
In a previous interview, Matthew Karch indicated that a pay-to-unlock add-on was a heavily requested feature, and mentioned that it would be something they would be exploring, despite his general aversion to such an approach. However, several gamers have expressed their displeasure with the move on social media, blasting the decision on the game’s official Facebook and Twitter.
If I may offer my own take on the matter, while I am leery of microtransactions and pay-to-win mechanics, I do feel there is merit to offering the Roster Unlock add-on. One of NBA Playgrounds’ biggest weaknesses is its lack of offline content. If you’re chiefly an offline gamer, it becomes a massive grind to level up and earn packs once you’ve completed the Tournaments. Naturally, if you’ve already gone through the tough grind, you may feel a bit cheated by the release of the add-on, and there are always going to be concerns about online balance. A move like this is always going to be controversial, but the sparse amount of offline content almost makes it a necessity.
An important point to remember here is that a lot of NBA Playgrounds gamers did ask for this, despite Saber’s initial reluctance to adopt microtransactions. While the move is not going to be to everyone’s liking, I personally feel that NBA Playgrounds is a game that’s still worth supporting, especially if new content can continue to be added. Whichever decision they made on this issue, one side of the fanbase was not going to be happy. It’s a problematic approach in some respects, but arguably a necessary evil, and something that was indeed heavily requested.
What’s your take on add-ons such as this? Is it appropriate here, given the lack of modes and offline content in NBA Playgrounds? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion of the game here in the Forum!