NBA 2K20: Big changes for competitive gaming on the new title
2K Sports’ newest title is almost here. We talked to the devs to see what is new this year.
From a whole new change to competitive gaming through to a brand-new Pro-AM setup to a firm emphasis on playing to win rather than paying to win, heres everything we learned in our sit down chat with Erick Boenisch, 2K Sports’ Senior NBA Producer.
RealSport: There’s a whole load of new features in this year’s game, which is going to capture the fans the most?
Erick Boenisch: “Obviously we have a lot of new features inside 2K20. The WNBA mode because it’s new is going to draw a lot of interest in that it really pays homage to the women’s game. We’ve recreated it from scratch with three to five thousand customised animations from the WNBA just to make sure that we represent the game properly and that it doesn’t look or feel like the men’s game.
Beyond that the MyCAREER mode and all that it encompasses, the neighbourhood Pro-AM. There’s even frisbee golf in the neighbourhood. The story with Spring Hill Entertainment. I think that is going to capture people’s attention and keep them there for a really long time.”
RS: So there’s a new addition to the Neighbourhood as players will experience changing seasons for the first time. How are they going to work?
EB: “So its set up that obviously we’re in late summer right now and eventually we hit fall and fall is when the leaves start to turn orange and red and brown and then they fall and die. Then the trees are bare for the winter months. You’ll see snow on the ground, you’ll see steam coming out of the grids and get that real feeling that you get when you’re looking out of your window.”
Who will be the best team?
RS: Golden State have been the go-to team for many players online in recent editions of 2K. Will this summers transfers make for a more competitive game? Who are going to be the new Golden State Warriors for NBA 2K20?
EB: “I think it’ll make for an incredibly more competitive game. Just generally speaking when you look at the upcoming NBA season, there’s no answer of which team is going to win the title.
Some people are like could it be the Warriors still? Although Klay’s out until the All-Star break or later. Could it be the Lakers? I mean I don’t know Boogie just got hurt. Could it be the Clippers? I don’t know Paul George has started the season hurt. Could it be the Raptors again? Probably not. Could it be the Bucks? Is this the year of the Bucks? Now that the Kawhi Raptors are out of the way who is going to stop the Bucks in the East? There’s a lot of unknowns this season and I think that’s going to make for an incredible season.
How it portrays to our game, I think historically looking at people they gravitate towards the new teams, the fun new teams. I think the Lakers and the Clippers are going to be the hot draws. It’s the battle for Los Angeles inside NBA 2K.”
RS: Speaking of new teams, the addition of the All-Decade teams is one which has got fans excited. Who are you enjoying playing with? Who’s got the strongest side?
EB: “I think that the 90’s team is the best for me as that was my golden era of the NBA when I was a kid and had no responsibilities and watched every game on the TV so I think that that team is tough to beat but realistically the 2000s and 2010s are incredibly tough to beat as the players are incredibly athletic.
But when you look at the 80’s. If you look at the lineup it’s almost like joke. You have Jordan in there, you got Magic and Worthy and you’ve got Kareem in there, Dominiques up on that team. How do you beat that team? It’s most of the dream team!”
Pay to win?
RS: A lot of players aren’t huge fans of the VC aspect of the game. With the addition of the new mini-games on this years MyTEAM, is the mode focusing on rewarding players who play the game, rather than having to pay to win?
EB: “The mechanics inside MyTEAM this year are the same as in 2K19 and as they have been in years before. There’s visual elements on how we prize people, those change from year to year. Clearly if you look at the ridiculously long developer diary that I wrote, the entire gist of that diary is how we’re prizing people this year. If you win a game here you get a prize, if you win a game there you get a prize you know. Even if you log in for a day and do absolutely nothing you’ll get a prize. So really it’s all about rewarding people and thanking them for playing the game to make sure people really have a good time.”
READ MORE: NBA 2K20 Player Ratings: Top 10 players
NBA 2K20 esports
RS: Last year was a massive year for esports. Obviously you had the 2K League which was a huge success, what’s new in the esports world for 2K20?
EB: “Esports has been very successful for us. We launched the 2K league in 2K18 and continued it in 2K19, and all the qualification for that was done through the Pro-AM mode in the past, which was played in the Neighbourhood.
Pro-AM has traditionally been 5v5, well this year we added team 3v3 Pro-AM. This will make it a lot easier for people to find matches, I know last year it was like well I have two friends and I can’t start a game because I need two more. This year if you can get two friends with you you’re good to go for the whole night and I know that a lot of people are really going to jump on that.
The custom matchmaking on 3v3 and 5v5 you can play your opponents whenever you want, you can matchup specifically with them there is a lot of user friendly improvements to that mode this year.”