2K Sports is constantly striving to make its NBA 2K series the most authentic representation of the professional basketball experience both on and off the court. The developer took this ambition to new heights with NBA 2K22, putting the famous spokesperson Jake from State Farm into the game. Really. You've seen Jake from State Farm in TV ads everywhere, and now he's in NBA 2K.
Players in the game can interact with their favorite (?) figure from all those endless ads. And you may be wondering why a video game you spent $60 for has such a blatant moment of product placement.
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.
The actor who plays Jake from State Farm, Kevin Miles, reacted to his appearance in NBA 2K22 on social media, retweeting a story about it. Jake from State Farm is one of the most recognizable salespeople in recent years; if you watch TV or online videos, you've no doubt seen Jake from State Farm many times.
Jake from State Farm even talks about making sure your character has “the drip,” which is slang for having a certain amount of swag or fashion sense. And talking with him actually unlocks a skin for your character in which he’s wearing a State Farm red polo shirt and khakis. You can see how that looks here via the Twitter user whose video of the scene went viral.
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.
NBA 2K22 released on September 10 across PS4, Xbox One, and PC, as well as PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch.
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