The Streisand effect notes that when information is hidden or censored, it invites far more speculation and interest than it would otherwise. It came about in 2005, and developers and publishers still struggle to understand its far-reaching implications on the internet well over a decade later.
2K Games is the most recent publisher to display this, as they have been very busy on the Steam discussions for NBA 2K21 (which is due to release on September 4, 2020) that is censoring threads asking for more information.
The threads have been noting the general ‘rinse-and-repeat’ format the 2K has taken with regurgitating annual sport games, the in-game microtransactions that offer advantages to users willing to spend additional money, and even the disdainful attempt to use Kobe’s unfortunate passing as a means to get users to purchase the special edition that is called ‘NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever‘.
Why respect the deceased when you can profit off of them, right?
Users that have purchased an iteration of NBA 2K within the past three years know exactly what to expect from this iteration, as sports games aren’t exactly known for improving anything year over year aside from adding in-game event scripting.
Recycling assets from previous years is a common tactic, and those interested in the most recent iteration apparently aren’t too concerned about that.
BIG Cover Star Energy ⌚🗣️ https://t.co/ViIC0yVUMB
— NBA 2K21 (@NBA2K) August 12, 2020
Some users are pointing to the publisher, Take-Two Interactive, as they’ve been extremely heavy-handed in the past about controlling the image of their titles, even going so far as to threaten modders with legal action if they add too much to the world that could otherwise harm Take-Two’s future DLC attempts.
Combining this with the laughable price-hike for NBA 2K21 that almost guarantees more recycled assets, because their demographic seems relatively indifferent, and we start to get an interesting stew that smells of gym socks and more corporate silliness that has been increasingly pervasive in the modern era of the video game industry.
The demo of NBA 2K21 should be dropping on August 24, finally allowing fans of the franchise to get their hands on the ball and give the current iteration of mechanics a proverbial spin to see if it matches their expectations of the next iteration of the long-standing franchise that will notably include the alleged ability to create a woman to play as in the My Career mode.
In the interim, it’s suggested that you steer clear of the Steam discussion board for NBA 2K21 lest you similarly get removed or silenced for criticizing their monetization policy, or the usage of a deceased legend to the game to sell additional copies.