Spike Lee’s involvement is just one of the many things being confirmed in a profile this week ahead of the NBA 2K16 release in September.
Talking to USA Today, video game developer 2K Games confirmed that Spike Lee will act as a producer on NBA 2K16, this year’s most anticipated basketball video game release. Lee did indeed write and direct the MyCareer mode featured in NBA 2K16, just as rumors said he did.
Lee is putting his classic storytelling skills to work for NBA 2K16. In the USA Today profile he breaks down the rough setup for MyCareer’s story. “We follow a kid through the trials and tribulations of being a top high school player and the decisions he has to make,” Lee told the media outlet. Lee and 2K Games aren’t ready to begin describing the nature of those decisions yet, hoping to save some suspense for the NBA 2K16 release. Feature-length films that Lee have written usually focus on the trials of everyday Americans, looking for their break and a way to stand up on their own two feet.
In short, Lee is the perfect person to write a compelling narrative for MyCareer, which always seemed a bit stale. MyCareer has been around since 2012, it’s just one of the many modes that the NBA 2K franchise offers outside of typical exhibitions. The mode is meant to make you feel like a real NBA rookie. It sounds like Spike Lee is aiming for a more realistic interpretation of that mission. 2K Game’s Ryan Peters says that they brought Lee in to “transform the narrative.” MyCareer in NBA 2K16 has its own plot, protagonist and antagonist. NBA 2K16 buyers can expect 12 hours of play time for MyCareer, which translates into 90 minutes of actual narrative written and directed by Spike Lee.
In a new trailer for NBA 2K16 Spike Lee is seen and heard describing the culture that’s arisen around basketball. At the end he invites to “Be The Story.” There’s no actual game footage including in the teaser, instead there’s shots of basketball courts, archival NBA footage and the New York Knicks’ Madison Square Garden Arena.
Leaked images this year indicated that Spike Lee would play a huge role in NBA 2K16, just as musical artist Jay-Z did previously. 2KGames is indeed describing NBA 2K16 as a “Spike Lee Joint,” the moniker giving to Lee’s films and other media projects. Those leaked images also indicated that Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis and James Harden would act as cover athletes for the NBA 2K16 release. 2KGames has confirmed that too.
With the MyCareer mode narrative upgrades now announced, presumably 2K Games will turn to announcing any mechanics changes that this year’s game includes. NBA 2K15 isn’t as simple as picking up a controller and making your character run to the nearest basket to score. Simply shooting a three pointer involves nearly exact timing on the game’s default difficulty. It takes skill and practice, both of which will certainly be required for NBA 2K16, with or without any changes in how players take shots.
Theoretically, we’ll see a more detailed reveal of NBA 2K16 at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo beginning June 15th. Certainly, 2K Games will have more to share about the game during the summer months. NBA 2K16 is set to launch on Tuesday, September 29th. As a pre-order bonus, early buyers will be able to play the game on September 25th, the Friday before release. 2K Games is calling this Tip-Off Weekend. Early buyers also get 10,000 in Virtual Currency to use in the game and MyTeam VIP upgrades.