NBA 2K20 is a basketball simulation video game developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports, based on the National Basketball Association (NBA). It is the 21st installment in the NBA 2K franchise and the successor to NBA 2K19. Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers is the cover athlete for the regular edition of the game, while Dwyane Wade is the cover athlete for the 'Legend Edition'.
Cover art featuring Anthony Davis
Development and releaseEdit
NBA 2K20 was officially announced in the spring of 2019 with a release date set for September 6, 2019. The covers were revealed on July 1, 2019, though they were both leaked earlier. Although Davis is featured in the game as a member of the Lakers, he wears a generic jersey on the cover because it was released before Davis was officially traded from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers. Davis was one of three players on the NBA 2K16 cover. All three versions of the game have pre-order bonuses. It will be released for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
A free demo for the game featuring the My Career player builder mode was released on August 21st. The demo allowed players to create 6 different MyPlayers.
NBA 2K20 is a basketball simulation game which, like the previous games in the series, strives to realistically depict the National Basketball Association (NBA), as well as present improvements over the previous installments. The player mainly plays NBA games with real-life or customized players and teams; games follow the rules and objectives of NBA games. Several game modes are present and many settings can be customized.
Along with the current season's teams and players, previous games in the series have featured NBA teams from past eras, such as the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls and the 1985–86 Boston Celtics. NBA 2K20 adds six more such teams.
A staple of the series, MyCareer, returns as one of the available game modes. MyCareer is a career mode in which the player creates their own customizable basketball player and plays through their basketball career. The mode features a storyline (with the voices of actors including Idris Elba) which plays out as the player competes in games as well as off-court activities. The creation tools have been overhauled.
The game's returning MyGM and MyLeague game modes, which task the player with managing all basketball operations for a specific team, were a point of emphasis during development. MyGM is more focused on realism, whereas MyLeague offers more customization options. MyGM mode attempts to introduce more cutscene-style interactions than previous games in an attempt to give the mode a storyline, which is dubbed My GM 2.0.
NBA 2K20 again, for the eighth time in the series, features MyTeam mode, a mode based around the idea of building the ultimate basketball team and maintaining a virtual trading card collection. Players assemble and play with their team in basketball tournament-style competitions against other players' teams in several different formats. Assets for a team are acquired through various means, including randomized card packs and the auction house. Virtual Currency (VC) is used extensively in the mode.
The official trailer for NBA 2K20's MyTeam mode, which allows players to buy content with real-world money, received criticism for its revealing of minigames styled as real-world gambling such as pachinko and slot machines, roulette wheels, ball-drop games, and the opening of randomized card packs. While some of the mechanics had been introduced to the series prior, critics felt that featuring them in a single trailer was "more in-your-face" and noted they were emphasized over showing gameplay of basketball matches. Some also called the trailer "tone-deaf", due to being released at a time when loot boxes had become highly scrutinized and regulated under governing bodies and 2K had made changes to NBA 2K19 to comply with new laws, despite 2K asserting at the time that they did not consider loot boxes as gambling. The trailer was made unlisted on YouTube shortly after by 2K.
In response to the outcry that such mechanics were included in a game rated ages 3 and up, Pan European Game Information (PEGI) stated that as the title had not yet been released, only its trailer could be assessed. They found that the featured casino-like mechanics to select items by chance did not fit the criteria for a gambling label, as the game "must actually teach ... and/or encourage the player to want to gamble or bet for money in real life". However, PEGI noted that "we are very aware that it may get too close for comfort for some people", and said that due to such changes in an evolving industry, "we need to ensure that these developments are reflected in our classification criteria."
In its 7.8/10 review, IGN wrote: "NBA 2K20 would have been better off by focusing on its complex modes like MyLeague and cleaning up MyTeam to be less dependent on microtransactions. In spite of that, NBA 2K20 remains the best at what it does. It just might be time to ask for better." GameRevolution gave the game 4.5 out of 5, writing: "NBA 2K20's fantastic feel on the courts and how its main modes work as advertised are the most important parts. Some of the secondary additions might be lacking when compared to the polish seen in the new cinematic story mode, but they still serve their purpose to flesh out the package."
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- Gach, Ethan. "NEWS I Feel Gross Just Watching NBA 2K20's Loot Box Trailer". Kotaku.
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- Yin-Poole, Wesley. "PEGI responds to complaint about NBA 2K20's age-rating following casino trailer backlash". Eurogamer.
- Good, Owen. "PEGI rating board explains why it didn't flag NBA 2K20 as gambling". Polygon.