Bucks Gaming slammed for paying designers in "exposure" instead of cash - Dexerto

Bucks Gaming slammed for paying designers in “exposure” instead of cash

Published: 13/Nov/2019 1:24 Updated: 13/Nov/2019 1:28

by Bill Cooney


The NBA 2K league’s Bucks Gaming took some flak on social media after they offered payment in exposure and “free” merch for designing their next Twitter header.

Bucks Gaming represents the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA 2K League – a joint venture between the NBA and Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of 2K Sports.

The Bucks finished 8-8 after the League’s second season in 2019, but it wasn’t a surprise offseason acquisition that had people talking about the team on November 12.

The Bucks Gaming Twitter header when they announced the “contest”.

Why are people mad at Bucks Gaming?

Seeking a fresh new Twitter header for the offseason, Bucks Gaming took to Twitter and put out an open request for “all GFX artists” to take a shot at designing it for them.

In the now-deleted Tweet, the org offered free merchandise and exposure for their chosen winner on Twitter and Instagram as compensation for the work – but as the ratio on their tweet shows, the response probably isn’t what they were hoping for.

The ratio was not in the Bucks favor before the tweet was deleted.

The Bucks didn’t use the dreaded E word directly, but they also didn’t offer any money for the job, which professional artists usually like to receive for their work.

One of the most popular contributions was a slight redesign of the current Bucks header by @Quasimodox to reflect how well-received the contest was on Twitter.

An artist on Twitter named @DesignbyMalice was even told to “get a job” by the Bucks account after suggesting paying participants.

Finally, user @SGBluebell provided the perfect video summary of the Bucks Gaming’s day on Twitter and the response to their “contest”.

The practice of payment in merch isn’t at all new to esports: CSGO’s Team Dignitas was infamous for paying people in mousepads during the early days of the org – a far cry from a team in a league backed by the NBA.

Perhaps, if the Bucks had just called it a “contest” in the first place and opened it to all fans (rather than “GFX artists” specifically), they could have made it a fun offseason venture with little to no social media blowback.

Instead, the team has more attention on it than at any time in recent memory – but not for a reason any org or social media manager would ask for.


NBA 2K21 fans threatening to boycott after 2K adds “scummy” in-game ads

Published: 19/Oct/2020 2:01

by Alex Tsiaoussidis


NBA 2K21 is now forcing players to watch unskippable ads, and it seems like the huge basketball fanbase has finally had enough. Many are considering boycotting the 2020 release until they’re removed once and for all.

Nobody likes ads, period. But when you’re reading, watching, or playing something free, you can understand why they’re needed. However, NBA 2K21 is a full-price game, and it’s forcing players to watch ads. The worst part is you can’t skip them.

It’s something that has happened before in the NBA 2k series.

Last time, players rallied and revolted and coerced the company into removing them. Now they’ve gone ahead and done it again this year. They even waited until enough people bought the game, and added it afterward.

However, it seems like their ‘calculated’ move had done more harm than good. Players have flocked on social media to voice their concerns, and needless to say, they’re less than impressed.

“Man, this headline returns every year, and every year it breaks sales records,” said one user in the top comment of a popular thread.

“Some people do have problems with abandoning games it seems.”

NBA 2K21 Unskippable Ad
2K Games
An ad for the Oculus Quest 2 as seen in NBA 2K21.

“Wow that’s really messed up,” said another in a separate thread.

“I’m not exactly shocked since this is 2k we’re talking about but it’s still scummy. The NBA is my favorite sport but I haven’t bought a new 2k in years… This move by 2k means I’m not buying NBA even when it’s on sale.”

Clearly, fans and players are angry. But the dissatisfaction and disappointment don’t end there. Twitter is filled with similar comments, some of which are even more savage.

“I’m playing NBA2k and I got a f**ken ad on NBA2K TV,” said one person. “I bought the full version of the game don’t ever do some slimey s**t like that again.”

“Seeing ads in triple AAA, full price games ($60+) is f**king disgusting,” said another. “F**k you NBA2K.”

NBA 2K21 could learn from EA Sports

2K does have a long history of doing these questionable practices, but they’re not the only ones to do it.

EA Sports recently came under fire for sprinkling ads into UFC 4 when players had to watch replays. Naturally, it didn’t sit well with fans and players. The backlash was so immense, EA had no choice but to adhere to their demands and remove them.

“It is abundantly clear from your feedback that integrating ads into the Replay and overlay experience is not welcome,” said an EA representative.

“The advertisements have been disabled by the team and we apologize for any disruption to gameplay that players may have experienced.”

NBA 2K21 Unskippable AdAn example of an intrusive ad seen in UFC 4 before they were removed.

It might be a bit of a stretch, but hopefully, 2K can learn a thing or two from their rival company and listen to their fans on this issue once again.

Hell hath no fury like a player base scorned. If enough players make their voices heard, surely 2K will cave, and ditch the ads in NBA 2K21 once and for all.