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NBA 2K21

Platform(s): Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: Sports
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Visual Concepts

About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'NBA 2K21' (ALL) Details Next-Gen Exclusive WNBA MyPLAYER Experience

by Rainier on Oct. 29, 2020 @ 3:12 p.m. PDT

NBA 2K21 continues the franchise's tradition as the gold standard of basketball simulation across all platforms with unrivaled realism and true NBA gameplay.

For next-gen, NBA 2K21 will feature drastically improved load speeds, visual fidelity on an unmatched level and an unrivaled breadth of content for basketball fans and players. Fans can expect new game features, game modes, brand partnerships, social events, in-game experiences and a brand new soundtrack that will set the record as the most definitive collection of music ever assembled in a video game.

While the next-generation version of NBA 2K21 is being built from the ground up for next-generation consoles, 2K is also introducing several initiatives to bridge the two versions of the game. NBA 2K21 will feature MyTEAM Cross-Progression and a Shared VC Wallet within the same console family (PS4 to PS5, Xbox One to Xbox Series X).

MyTEAM Cross-Progression enables all MyTEAM Points, Tokens, cards and progress to be shared on both current and next-generation versions of NBA 2K21 in the same console family; similarly, the Shared VC Wallet means any earned or purchased VC is accessible across both current and next-generation versions of NBA 2K21 in the same console family. As shared earlier, players who are interested in picking up both versions of NBA 2K21 on either PlayStation or Xbox can check out the Mamba Forever Edition, which provides dual-access by providing purchasers with a copy of the standard edition of NBA 2K21 on the other generation at no additional cost, within the same console family.

With the launch of PS5 and Xbox Series X|S right around the corner, 2K today is excited to unveil a new feature coming exclusively to the next-gen version of NBA 2K21.  

NBA 2K21 Senior Producer, Felicia Steenhouse introduces The W, the first-ever WNBA MyPLAYER experience and an exclusive new mode for the next-gen version of NBA 2K21.

Fully customizable. Multi-season. WNBA Franchise mode. This is MyWNBA!

As soon as we were done with NBA 2K20, we knew right away what our first goal for NBA 2K21 would be and got to work on building that foundation for league control and progression for the WNBA. You now have the sandbox to go and create the league of your dreams. Control all 12 teams, or take your favorite team from the lottery to championship rings over as many seasons as it takes. 

When I say fully customizable, this is what I mean:

  • Create a league of your own. From rules, to finances, CBA, draft, and everything in between. Use 2K presets for a different experience, or download shared settings from the community.
  • Skip the season altogether and get straight to the playoffs in Playoff mode.
  • Want to play with friends? Got you covered with Online Leagues.
  • Turn on role playing elements to experience the WNBA from a GM’s perspective.
  • For experienced players, up the difficulty and compete on the leaderboard.
  • Once you find yourself immersed in your sandbox, save and upload your custom configuration so you can share what you built with the community!

We want to hear from you. Get your hands dirty in our MyWNBA sandbox and let us know how you are playing. Where are you having fun and where are you looking for more? We want to hear it all so we can grow this experience together. 

Now, I hope you didn’t think we stopped at our brand new MyWNBA experience. We have so much more to share today...

Welcome to The W

One of our main design goals for The W was to allow you to experience the career of a WNBA player, both on and off the court. The women of the WNBA are more than athletes and are defining professional sports as we know it in real-time. Do you have what it takes to lead this league into a new era?

Building your MyPLAYER

The first thing you’ll do when creating your WNBA MyPLAYER is pick your player’s head. Import your Face Scan from the mobile app or choose from one of our 30 base heads (that you can completely customize) to form into your likeness. 

After this, you’ll then get to one of the most important early decisions when creating a WNBA MyPLAYER – determining your player type. 

A noteworthy aspect of this mode is that your player progression is triggered solely through playing games. Because of this, picking your Player Type will be one of the most important early decisions you make in the game, as it’ll determine your MyPLAYER’s initial attributes and those when the player progresses from Progression Level 1 all the way up to Level 10. 

Here’s a breakdown of the Player Types:

  • 2-Way Playmaker. PG & SG eligible. 
    • Good at ball-handling and passing. Good at defending the perimeter.
  • 2-Way Point Forward. SF & PF eligible. 
    • Good at ball-handling and passing. Good at perimeter and interior defense (SF perimeter, PF interior).
  • Slashing Playmaker. PG, & SG eligible. 
    • Good at ball-handling, passing and finishing near the rim.
  • Slashing Point Forward. SF & PF. 
    • Good at ball-handling, passing and finishing near the rim.
  • Inside-Out Playmaker. PG, & SF eligible. 
    • Good at 3's, finishing inside, ball-handling and finishing near the rim.
  • Inside-Out Point Forward. SF & PF eligible.
    • Good at 3's, finishing inside, ball-handling and finishing near the rim.
  • 2-Way Slasher. PG, SG, & SF eligible. 
    • Good perimeter defender who is also good at ball-handling and finishing near the rim.
  • 2-Way Slashing Four. PF eligible. 
    • Good perimeter/interior defender who is also good at ball-handling and finishing near the rim.
  • 2-Way Slashing Five. C eligible. 
    • Good interior defender who is also good at ball-handling and finishing near the rim.
  • 3&D Point. PG, SG, & SF eligible. 
    • Good perimeter defender who is also good at shooting 3's
  • 3-Level Scorer. All positions eligible. 
    • Can score inside, mid-range, and beyond the arc.
  • Offensive Threat. PG, SG, & SF eligible. 
    • Good at all things offense - scoring inside, medium range and 3pt as well as ball-handling and passing.
  • Sharpshooter. All positions eligible.
    • Great at shooting mid-range and 3's.
  • Playmaking Shot Creator. PG, SG, SF, & PF eligible. 
    • Good at ball-handling, passing and shooting mid-range shots.
  • Post Scorer. PF & C eligible. 
    • Great at scoring with their back to the basket.
  • Lockdown Defender. PG, SG, SF, & PF eligible.
    • Great all-around defender. The PG-SF are mostly perimeter. PF is mostly interior.
  • Defensive Anchor. C eligible. 
    • Great interior defender (blocks, interior defense).
  • Paint Beast. SF, PF, & C eligible. 
    • Good at scoring inside, interior defending and rebounding.

Once you’ve picked your Player Type, you will then get to pick your Body Settings. Height, Weight, and Wingspan will all affect your MyPLAYER’s attributes from the starting point to the Level 10 maximum. 

And the last thing that you’ll be choosing is your MyPLAYER’s Primary and Secondary Takeover. As your player gets hot, these will fill up, first your primary and then your secondary. If you wait for both to fill up, then you can activate them both at the same time. You can learn more about the Takeover feature in our Courtside Report #3.

WNBA Player On & Off the Court

As touched upon in the intro, we felt it was important to let players experience what it means to be a WNBA player on and off the court. In order to do this, we built the mode on the foundation of a set of different pillars that track the progress of your MyPLAYER and the league. 

The core progression is tracked through the following – Player Progression, Player Popularity, WNBA Popularity, Player Wealth, and Teammate Chemistry.

After you play your first game, now on your off day, you will notice you have three events to choose from. What you choose here depends on how you want to progress your career in The W. What’s important to you? Growing the league? Securing money now? Setting yourself up for a career after basketball? Or maybe you just want to try a little of everything. Every choice you make, you will see one of your five career pillars change, and with each level progressed across those five pillars you’ll receive in-game rewards as you go.

Progression

Progression is basically just how good your MyPLAYER is at playing the game of basketball. The primary way to level up your MyPLAYER is by earning MyPOINTS by playing and performing well in games. Like all career pillars, you can also participate in various off-court events during the regular season and later in the offseason that will help improve your MyPLAYER’s basketball skills, which also allows you to unlock and upgrade badges. 

In addition to boosting your attributes and gaining badges, leveling up your Progression will also unlock new animations, the Jumpshot Creator, the ability to influence your team’s free agent and trade targets, your team’s minutes and rotations, and even jersey numbers.

Popularity

This one should be pretty clear – it’s how popular your MyPLAYER is and tracks how many fans you have at any given moment. You can earn fans by making highlight plays in games like and-1s, buzzer beaters, clutch chasedown blocks on star players, and so on. Participating in off-court events that are designed to promote your personal fame will help you grow your star power even more. 

The main goal in increasing your player's popularity will be to earn endorsements, which earns you more money as well as game day shoes from the brand partnership you earn. These include Nike, Jordan, Adidas, Under Armour, Puma, New Balance, and Converse.

WNBA Popularity

As a WNBA player, it benefits you to help the league become more popular. You will have an opportunity to help grow the league, if you choose to, by doing various off-court jobs designed to help increase the overall popularity of the entire league. 

When you do this, the league will evolve and there’ll be more National TV games that you can play in, which earns more personal fans than non-nationally televised games. It also produces increases to player salaries that will positively impact your wealth, which has benefits that we’ll get to…well, right now!

Player Wealth

Hey, let’s be honest, there is a little satisfaction in earning that paycheck. This career pillar tracks the growth of your player’s bank account; it includes money earned with your WNBA salary that gets paid out by playing WNBA games and from doing various jobs off the court. 

Now let me drop a teaser here. Progressing your wealth will unlock exclusive gear to wear when competing in The W Online…more on that to come!

Teammate Chemistry

The last of the career pillars where we track your MyPLAYER’s progress is with Teammate Chemistry. This gauges how well you play with and get along with your teammates. You can increase this with a good in-game teammate grade or by spending time with your teammates on off-days. You’ll have to balance this with improving your own skills or popularity, that of the leagues, and increasing that number in your bank account. 

Having a high Teammate Chemistry level will have some important game impacts, such as unlocking the Secondary Takeover (that we talked about in the MyPLAYER creation section above). It also unlocks the Team Takeover feature and the new feature of ‘Control All On-Court Players’ – that lets you play The W with full 5-player control like in Play Now instead of locked to your MyPLAYER. Furthermore, you can also unlock Accessories like armbands, socks, headbands, etc, that you can wear both in WNBA games and in The W Online.

Off-day and Offseason Jobs

What you choose to do off the court matters a lot in this mode and that’s where these off-day and offseason jobs come into play. This is where we get into the flavor of the WNBA. A lot of research went into defining what players do off the court and we had a lot of fun translating that into the game. I hope even the die-hard WNBA fans will find something new here. 

What makes this league so amazing is the diversity of its players. The ways in which they market themselves, each other, and the league itself is varied and unique. Going over our research on what players do off the court that contribute to those five pillars we discussed above, we categorized these into five groups – Coach, Entrepreneur, Global Icon, Fashion Icon, and Influencer. 

 

  • Coach: Think Kristi Toliver here. These jobs center on improving your knowledge and abilities in the game of basketball. Doing these will be beneficial mostly to your MyPLAYER’s Progression and sometimes Teammate Chemistry.
  • Entrepreneur: à la Jessica Breland. Learn how to run your own business and become better at making money. Doing these jobs will, of course, be most impactful to your player’s Wealth.
  • Global Icon: Basketball has worldwide appeal. These jobs are focused on reaching an international audience – both for your personal Popularity and the WNBA Popularity. We had Diana Taurasi in mind for this one.
  • Fashion Icon: Did someone say Liz Cambage? Fashion matters in sports and is an important part of the lives of fans and players. Doing fashion icon jobs will help your own Popularity and often give a boost to your Wealth.
  • Influencer: Just like Breanna Stewart or Candace Parker, athletes are influencers and the jobs in this category will help you influence your fans and gain new ones along the way.

As an added bonus, as you progress in these jobs, you’ll gain WNBA players as contacts who will send you texts to help you out along the way. To start your career you will hear from Nneka Ogwumike to help get you moving in the right direction.

The W Online

Ok, so what exactly is The W Online? Simply put, The W Online is a 3v3 multiplayer experience (exclusive to The W) where you can take your homegrown MyPLAYER and compete against other players and their MyPLAYERs. Once in the game, you will find yourself in arguably the most beautiful location to play in the game. If you want to see next gen visuals; this is the place to be. 

Games played in The W Online will earn you MyPOINTS toward your player’s progression, but this is also where you get to show out. These street rules games to 21 are a stage to showcase your MyPLAYER. As you are progressing in your career, you are unlocking animations and exclusive clothing items for this experience. Once you unlock that coveted level 10 gear, The W Online is the place to go to show the world you've reached the pinnacle of your profession!

Closing Thoughts

YOU ultimately make our game what it is, and this year we have greatly expanded the ‘you’s who are represented in our game. There are so many new ways to play with the WNBA in NBA 2K21! I can’t wait to hear about how you shape the league in The W, see your highlights in The W Online, download your custom rosters and scenarios, and see what you are able to build with MyWNBA

Before I let you go, I want to give a quick shout out to the best development team in the world. The talent and resolve of everyone at VC continuously blows me away. While we are very proud of what we were able to accomplish together, we are always thirsty for more. There are new, never-before taken paths ahead of us. This is a journey we are honored and excited to be taking with you. Now it’s time to see where you take the WNBA in NBA 2K21! Do you have it in you?

The path to basketball superstardom is a dream for many and achieved by few in real life, but in NBA 2K21 you’ll have that opportunity as you carve your own path in MyCAREER, a new storyline that takes your player from high school through college - incorporating ten officially-licensed college programs - and eventually the NBA! Always a highlight for millions of players around the world each year, MyCAREER offers a personal, cinematic basketball experience where you’ll build your custom MyPLAYER and take them to the heights of their career on and off the court.

In NBA 2K21, this year’s narrative, The Long Shadow, tells the story of Junior – the son of a beloved baller who faces the challenges of trying to make it to the NBA, balancing legacy while carving his own path through high school to college. Making this journey more authentic to real life, NBA 2K21 will feature 10 officially licensed college programs to choose from in the story: Michigan State, UConn, Florida, Gonzaga, Syracuse, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, UCLA, Villanova University and West Virginia.

Of course, just making it to the draft doesn't mean the end of the journey - it's just the beginning! You'll have to choose the right representation, manage team interviews, perform well at the NBA Combine and improve your Draft stock to land yourself in the best position for success.

Also, it wouldn’t be MyCAREER without some familiar famous faces. In NBA 2K21, you’ll see Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy), Michael K. Williams (The Wire, Boardwalk Empire), Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond, Guardians of the Galaxy), Mireille Enos (The Killing, World War Z) and cover athletes Damian Lillard and Zion Williamson and more bring Junior’s story to life in a dramatic and cinematic way. 

NBA 2K21 will be available worldwide on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and Google Stadia on September 4, 2020. NBA 2K21 will also be available on PS5 and Xbox Series X as a launch title this holiday.


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