NBA 2K16: 5 Things to Know

There’s a growing list of video game franchises that can actually sustain a yearly release cycle. Before that list ever started to expand, before there was ever an Assassin’s Creed franchise or a new Forza racing game released every year there was the NBA 2K franchise. Slowly, we’re learning more about this year’s entry: NBA 2K16. 

Games don’t get more important than NBA 2K. NBA 2K16 will be the only major basketball video game released this year that anyone will care about in any meaningful way. It’ll be the only game with the correct mix of street credit, different modes, gameplay mechanics and sheer star power to attract fans. Here’s what you need to know about NBA 2K16 already.

NBA 2k16

NBA 2K16 – It’s a Spike Like Joint

Sometimes video games transcend gaming in general. They become about the culture that surrounds the game just as much as the game itself. NBA 2K joined this elite club of video game titles a long time ago and NBA 2K16 isn’t any different.

It was rapper turned executive producer Jay Z that had the idea to include classic teams in NBA 2K13. Recording artist Pharrell produced NBA 2K15’s soundtrack. NBA 2K16 will feature movie writer and director Spike Lee, who is himself a huge basketball fan, according to leaked photos of the NBA 2K16 release cover. The covers indicate that NBA 2K16 is a “Spike Lee Joint,” a nod to his work in film.

Reportedly, Lee’s contribution will focus mainly on MyCareer, the complete simulation that takes players of NBA 2K16 from rookies to league superstars and beyond. It’s hard to imagine that Spike Lee’s work on the game won’t include a narrative for MyCareer since crafting narratives is what he’s most known for.

NBA 2K16 – Early Release

Video game makers almost lost a key advantage in the switch to digital games that Microsoft and Sony pulled off with this console generation. Suddenly, you didn’t need to pre-order game because you could simply download the title on release day directly from your console. Vanquished was the fear that you wouldn’t be able to pick up your favorite game on release day. Stock of digital titles aren’t limited in the same way disc titles are.


The gaming industry quickly recovered though and rethought its approach. The NBA 2K16 release details reflect that new approach to pre-orders. 2K Games and participating retailers are holding what’s being called an Early Tip-Off Weekend for NBA 2K16 release week. Those who pre-order the game ahead of release will get access four full days before its available to those that didn’t pre-order. For early buyers the NBA 2K16 release day is September 25th, not the following Tuesday.

What’s more, 2K Games is also including 10,000 in virtual credit for use in some modes and a MyTeam VIP free of charge. Suddenly, there’s a very tangible reason to pick up NBA 2K16 early, even if you aren’t typically big on pre-orders.

NBA 2K16 – Tons of Different Versions

Visual Concepts, the game’s developer hasn’t revealed a lot of the new features we can expect with NBA 2K16’s release. We don’t expect to see the game fully detailed until this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.

Both companies have provided some basic release details though and they reveal that there’s a huge line-up of different NBA 2K16 games on their way. First there’s the versions you might expect. Current-generation consoles are fully supported, including the Sony PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. The previous generation of consoles are supported too, which is great news for Xbox 360 and PS3 users. Some sports games — like NHlL16 are already abandoning those consoles and focusing on delivering new features to current platforms.

Apple’s iPhone and iPad are getting their own NBA 2K16 releases. Android and Microsoft’s Windows platforms are getting dedicated NBA 2K16 releases too.

NBA 2K16 – This Year’s Cover Stars

PR leaks sent to Polygon.

PR leaks sent to Polygon.

The same leaks that revealed Spike Lee would play a large role in NBA 2K16 from website Polygon also revealed who would be on the cover.

Stephen Curry, who is coincidentally set to appear along with his team in this year’s NBA Finals is among the three cover stars chosen for this year’s game. Joining Curry is James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

NBA 2K16 – It’ll Cost $60

Not being an annual game makes pricing on NBA 2K16 fairly easy to nail down. Brand new copies of games on the Xbox One, PS4, PS3 and Xbox 360 all cost $60. In fact, that $60 version of the game is the only one that’s available for pre-order at video game retailer GameStop. Theoretically, digital bundles that combine a basic version copy of the game and some amount of Virtual Currency to use in MyCareer and MyTeam. This year’s iOS and Android versions of the game cost $7.99.

The Xbox Store and PlayStation Stores aren’t yet taking pre-orders for NBA 2K16. Best Buy is taking NBA 2K16 pre-orders ahead of release. Online retailer Amazon is also talking pre-orders. The official NBA 2K16 release day is September 29th.