I'm going to elaborate more on my stance with this post. My apologies in advance for this being a long story/rant, but I want to make myself clear here.
I've played the NBA2K franchise since its early days on Sega Dreamcast. I was excited when the franchise continued on during the Xbox/PS2 days. For the first several years, it was a yearly purchase. Some years, the game was better than others. Quite a few of the years, I felt the College Hoops series was better, though. (I still play College Hoops 2K8 regularly to this day - RIP to that franchise. I'd love to see what they could do with it today.)
Throughout the years, I stopped buying the game yearly and went with once every year or two. I skipped NBA 2K8-10 and purchased NBA 2k11 when it got rave reviews for the Jordan challenges. NBA 2k11 is still one of my favorites of the series. It was the first time I recalled playing the MyPlayer mode, which I enjoyed immensely. I was able to pick up NBA 2k12 pretty cheap on PC early on, making it the first time I owned the franchise game on PC. There were some improvements to MyPlayer and again, it's still one of my favorites of the series.
Note: I can still access my careers from the MyPlayer creations in both of those games to this day.
Skipped to NBA 2k15. It was ok. It was the first time that I had played MyPlayer using VC (virtual currency, which is still used today. It's the biggest way that the NBA 2k series makes money through microtransactions). NBA 2k15 was also the first time that I played MyTeam. I remember liking it ok. Progression and grinding was extremely slow without ponying up dough, so I didn't mess it with much. Unfortunately, once the VC servers were brought down, MyPlayer in NBA 2k15 was dead. Again, I can still continue my MyPlayer career in both NBA 2k11 and 2k12.
Skipped again to NBA 2k18. I was jonzing for a new basketball game, so I went all in on NBA2k18. MyPlayer is now MyCareer and has a new story mode, all with unskippable cutscenes and bull#### that you would never care about. VC is now earned differently. It's earned as a paycheck every two weeks and you get bonuses for your sponsorships and stuff. It's pretty cool. Or is it?
At launch, they nickel and dimed you to death. Everything costs VC. And I mean everything. Don't like the default look of your character? One of the game's first cutscenes takes you to the barber shop where you can get a haircut. Cost of haircuts was about half as much as you'd make in your two week paycheck. Also, you can't preview what you look like with your new haircut. So you think you'll like this one, so you pay VC for it. Turns out that it looks like ####, so you change it to something else. Pay VC. Maybe the first one wasn't so bad. Pay VC. No seriously, you have to buy what you already purchased.
At the time, 2k explained that they were going for realism. In reality, if you pay for a haircut today, you still have to pay for that same haircut a month from now. Ok. I can accept that. But a haircut doesn't cost 50% of my damn paycheck! So eventually, they changed that. Haircuts in 2k18 became cheaper.
Did I mention the unskippable cutscenes in MyCareer? I sure did. And thankfully you can skip this sentence, but you couldn't in the game.
In a nutshell, I hated MyCareer in NBA2k18. Never even played to All-Star break. So I dove in to MyTeam. I enjoyed MyTeam. I got addicted to MyTeam.
Game modes in MyTeam improved dramatically from 2k15 to 2k18. So it was fun to play without spending coin. But unfortunately, that wasn't enough. I started spending money. This was before any really good cards became available too. I probably spent another $200 or more just on MyTeam and that's before February. Why do I say Feb? Because they released the Magic Johnson packs on Valentine's Day. Then the Larry Bird packs on St Patty's day. I purchased a set of those. Thankfully, I opened both a Diamond Bird (but missed out on Pink Diamond) and a Amethyst Magic (missed out on both Diamond and Pink Diamond).
I really wanted a good Jordan card. I knew one was coming. I had a Ruby, but it was pretty low for Jordan. The Amethyst Jordan was going for a million MT (this is the MyTeam currency). That was too rich for my blood. But before long the Jordan pack arrives with a chance at PD or Diamond Jordan cards. I actually debated with a co-worker one whether I should buy some packs. It was $50 for a 20-pack (20 chances to get the cards) and 2k was running a deal where I could get $200 worth of VC for $100, so I was really considering it so I could increase my chances... AT ONE F'N PLAYER! What was I thinking!!!???
Thankfully, my co-worker talked me out of it. I stood pat and decided to trade for the Amethyst Jordan that was going for a million MT, but with the release of the PD and D Jordans, the price dropped tremendously to about 10,000, which I could easily do with grinding. So I settled and vowed that I would not drop more money on MyTeam.
I went further, I swore off buying another NBA 2k game until this stopped. I crusaded against VC when everyone was going after EA for the same practice. I talked directly with Angry Joe after his Battlefront 2 rant and talked with him about it. And he finally did an angry rant on it.
So SlaX, you're probably asking, why are you buying NBA 2k20? I still enjoy the core game and I have a friend who keeps buying the game on years that I don't buy. He talked me into it. So I'm going into this year, optimistic that I can do it without spending any money beyond the initial cost. And thankfully, franchise mode is still awesome, even in NBA 2k18. It's probably the one and only mode that still remains functional after a couple of years when the servers go offline and they move on to the next year.
That's my story. I'm partially not happy with myself that I'm giving them a shot this year, but at the same time I'm really looking forward to it.