NBA 2K continues to dominate the pro basketball gaming industry with its newest title releasing this September. Gamers will be able to play the title on multiple platforms, including PlayStation4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam. While the official release date of September 6, 2019 has been provided, the NBA 2K20 prelude is yet to be announced.
(Photo Credit: 2K Daily Star)
Any players familiar with the franchise understand that the game, while currently the best option, still comes up short in certain areas. After following the franchise through its 21 years of releases, there are certain features we would still like to see added. While most of these are likely a long shot to change soon, leave your opinion in the comments at the bottom of the article.
In today’s gaming industry, it’s not uncommon to experience a micro-transaction system built in to a game. From mobile applications to console games, companies aim to get players hooked to the game and squeeze every cent they might get out of players. With certain game models, the game creator will offer the game for free and players can ‘improve their experience’ with certain paid offerings.
Several console titles have received a bad reputation for really abusing the system. NBA 2K is not above reproach after really hurting their players with the VC system over the past couple title releases.
Plenty of in-game currency is available by pre-ordering NBA 2K20
In the NBA 2K world, VC (virtual currency) can be earned and used to change your overall gaming experience. From MyTeam card packs to MyPlayer upgrades, VC is the coin that makes the game tick. Due to this, VC is extremely valuable for players and can cause players to spend significant amounts of real world money to skip the grind of earning the currency in the game. While technically not forced, it encourages a “pay to win” type environment. When you factor in the upfront game cost, it’s not unreasonable for a player to have spent a couple hundred dollars on the game in the opening months of play.
Overall, I would like the VC system to change by balancing the rate at which VC can be earned in the game. 2K Sports are running a business, but abusing the player base from a financial standpoint is not a good way to keep a loyal following.
Overseas Career Path
How often do we see a player become an absolute stud in college, only to become a bust in the NBA? Or a decent rotation player fall off past their peak years turn to European leagues to continue their career?
While licensing issues with FIBA or the CBL might be an issue, it would be a nice feature if gamers could pursue these career paths in MyPlayer mode. Instead of fighting for minutes or a fringe roster spot, players could turn on ‘God-mode’ by signing on with a Chinese team (i.e. Stephon Marbury 2.0). This would be a welcome change as it could allow gamers to follow various career paths, develop their MyPlayer and try to work their way back in to the NBA.
We're so close to being able to go abroad in MyPlayer
Female Player Options
C’mon now 2K Sports…it is 2018 and we are still falling short on the gender equality front. While similar to the overseas career licensing issues that might arise, 2K Sports should offer gamers the opportunity to create females in MyPlayer mode.
While players would have to go through a WNBA route, gamers could still use these created athletes in other game modes and play with the male players. The real world basketball scene supports female basketball accomplishments and the NBA 2K franchise should try to catch up in this respect as soon as possible.
More archetypes and play styles
NBA players have the abilities to pull up for a jump shot, cross their defender and even drive in for a lay-up all at a high standard. 2K19 was another year where your player felt like anything but an All-Star with the same old archetypes that deny a player to excel in more than one or two fields.
On NBA 2K19, players only have the choice between six to seven archetypes that can be mixed with a secondary archetype all chosen by the user. We feel that 10 archetypes would allow in-depth and diverse player's with different abilities so that defending them becomes less systematic and more mixed-up and spontaneous. This will allow for Neighborhood games and NBA season games to be less of a grind and more entertaining.
Unique Player-to-Player Relationships
How often does the media try to play up specific player relationships as the driving force behind a player’s decision in free agency?
Building up or tearing down relationships between coaches, players and fanbase would be an interesting twist in various 2K game modes. e.g. LeBron may perform worse under Luke Walton because of ego and levels of obedience.
You could take this relationship feature a step further and have it impact player performance against particular teams. Beyond that, adding this feature in MyPlayer mode would be especially cool. Choosing a star as your ‘mentor’ and having that impact future free agency or trade outcomes would really escalate the game’s depth of unique player experiences.
While there are many routes the franchise can take the game, these are just a handful of directions I believe could improve the overall experience. I know there are many other ideas I have overlooked, but feel free to leave comments to let the community know your thoughts on changes.