NBA 2K21 is scheduled to release on the PlayStation 4 on 4th September, but there’s a dilemma for 2K Sports: the current season has only just reached the playoff stages, with the next season not scheduled to begin until December. The franchise has, historically, released prior to the opening tip of a new season, but coronavirus has thrown the sport’s scheduling into disarray.
So, what’s the outcome, then? Well, the new title will be working from NBA 2K20’s ratings at launch, in order to allow time for the season to conclude. Player ratings will then be adjusted ahead of the title’s next-gen launch on the PlayStation 5, with those changes set to be implemented across both versions of the game.
“This year, NBA 2K will update player ratings upon the release of NBA 2K21 for next-generation consoles, following the completion of the 2019-20 NBA season, to ensure the ratings are reflective of the player’s performance this season,” a press release explained. “At that time, all updated NBA player ratings will be implemented across NBA 2K21 for current and next-gen consoles.”
In a way, this might work out well for 2K Sports. It’s already deep into the promotional cycle for NBA 2K21 for the PS4, but it’s going to want to generate new interest for the next-gen release – which is retailing for $10 more than its current-gen counterpart. The shiny new graphics will help, but fans love debating player ratings, and this gives the publisher another thing to tout.