With 2K’s annual WWE game releasing next week, the achievement list has found its way online. While this is not anything unusual as achievements often go up before launch, players discovered something more nefarious and baffling in the list. WWE 2K18 features sponsored achievements.
The trophy and achievement icons all feature some symbol in reference to the current WWE. From Sasha Banks’ glasses to Chris Jericho’s List, there are a lot of little nods. Yet two of the icons are impossible to miss. The two trophies have brand logos as their icons with titles referencing the brand or just outright slapping it on.
Above you can see the two brands in all their sponsored glory. What is really outlandish is just how off-putting they are compared to everything else. It appears as though another trophy title and icon were there until these advertisers were slapped on. Considering they are part of the trophy list, these brands will likely be featured within the game.
Anyone who watches WWE programming is likely used to the overabundance of sponsors hitting the screen. The two brands mentioned have had a long history with WWE popping up in some of their biggest events. At this year’s Wrestlemania, KFC had their own segment of who was going to be the next Colonel.
This has not been a stellar year for 2K Sports with regards to positive fan feedback. 2K made a strong statement that WWE 2K18 would not feature microtransactions, but it has loot boxes. This was in response following the egregious usage of microtransactions in NBA 2K18. Despite looking like a good step, this news of sponsored achievements hurts that “goodwill”.
Product placement is nothing new and something many accept. Even KFC goes back to one of the earliest examples in Sega’s Crazy Taxi. The way they are used with achievements here is really taking it a step too far. These are not just tied to a game, but your own trophy and achievement profile. These become a form of promotion for a company and players have no control over it except to avoid earning the achievements. Neither 2K nor WWE are yet to comment on the inclusion of these achievements.
WWE 2K18 is releasing next week Tuesday on the 17th. Despite there being no microtransactions, it seems that these achievements are 2K’s new way to test the waters. It will feature loot boxes though, we can never forget the loot boxes.