NBA 2K22 was released yesterday across PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One. Like previous NBA 2K games, 2K22 features The City, a large online open-world mode that lets players walk around, play basketball, shop in stores, and uh... I guess hang out with Jake from State Farm.
NBA 2K22 features a career mode, letting players create their own basketball-loving character who can then move through a storyline, working their way up the ladder and into the NBA and eventually into famous NBA superstars. The City is an online hub that lets you take your created character out of the court and into an open-world city filled with different buildings, activities, and content to explore. It’s also, like the rest of any modern NBA 2K game, filled with microtransactions and ads.
But this year, NBA 2K22 really stepped up its game when it comes to shoving elements of late-stage capitalism into the experience. NBA 2K22 features a digital Jake from State Farm. This “character” has appeared in numerous State Farm commercials and because most of us spend hours of our days bombarded by thousands of ads, most of you will recognize Jake from State Farm.
We really are in the darkest timeline.
Capybaroness on Twitter was one of the first people to share a clip of Jake and she offered this short, but accurate description of the encounter: “christ.”
Not only is Jake in the game, but he is located outside of State Farm branded clothing and merchandise store. And yes, you can get some State Farm “drip.” And also, yes, it looks terrible, as shown by Capybaroness in a follow-up tweet.
In the video, your created character encounters Jake from State Farm and instead of shaking his head, maybe sighing and moving on like most humans, they instead chill and talk to the marketing-character-made-real-in-digital-form. Watching your character have “fun” with Jake from State Farm, even getting excited when he says the famous State Farm slogan would make me never want to play with that character again.
It’s not surprising to see NBA 2K22 stick an insurance ad character into the game. This is a series that already has had tons of shitty microtransactions in the past and also has incorporated literal slot machines and unskippable commercials in previous entries. So sure, toss in a digital avatar based on a character from some ads. Why not?! I hope Flo and the Geico lizard show up in next year’s game.
According to my sources (people who play this game), it does also include basketball this year too. I think.