The NBA 2K franchise has been on top for years. NBA 2K15 was another prime example and although developer Visual Concepts’ decision to include face scanning was misguided and its servers can take a while to load, the game offers one of the most attractive and addictive sports simulation experiences out there.
NBA 2K16 will improve on that though – as is always the case with annual sports sims – and in the upcoming game, developer Visual Concepts is going to focus on the MyCareer mode. And they aren’t doing it half-heartedly either as they have reportedly enlisted Oscar-nominated filmmaker (and long time New Yorks Knicks fan) Spike Lee to help develop it.
NBA 2K16 Teams Up With Spike Lee
Rumors about Lee’s work on NBA 2K16 have been swirling for several months, as back in March he told the New York Post that he was “in San Francisco working on an NBA video-game project”. Given that NBA Live (EA’s rival b-ball series ) is developed in Florida and Visual Concepts is located just north of San Fran, it’s pretty clear which franchise the filmmaker is helping out with.
We received a more solid confirmation of this in the last 24 hours when Polygon unearthed some leaked marketing materials (which you can see above), which appear to be mockups of Stephen Curry, James Harden and Kevin Durant’s Instagram pages. The posts announce that they are “starring the new Spike Lee joint!” as NBA 2K16 ‘s new cover stars and that players can “Be The Story” when the game is released. The publication also confirmed the info with “a source close to the game” so it’s more or less sure thing at this point.
But is Spike Lee’s involvement with NBA 2K16 a good thing? Visual Concepts has worked with big names before including Jay Z who was the executive producer of NBA 2K13 and Pharrell Williams who put together the soundtrack for NBA 2K15 but neither of their roles were that significant and the games likely wouldn’t have been any different without them.
Lee’s work, on the other hand, could have a serious impact as although the the storylines in MyCareer mode are well-thought out, they lack depth (e.g when you leave a new team, there’s not so much as a handshake or a line of commentary about it when you play against them). Plus, Lee wrote and directed 1998 basketball film He Got Game so he clearly knows how to tap into the emotional side of the sport.
NBA 2K16 will likely be announced within the next fortnight (judging by past announcement dates) so we’ll keep you posted on any new info.