Visual Concepts Development Team
Hi everyone! Before we get to our newest Courtside Report for NBA 2K22, we’d like to send a big shout-out to the 2K Community and 2K fans around the globe. We work hard every year to bring you the best sports gaming experience possible, and it’s always exciting when we finally get to share what we’ve been working on for the latest installment of NBA 2K. So without any further ado, let’s talk about what’s new in MyCAREER and the City on next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S platforms, as well as some exciting new makeovers to the Neighborhood on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
New Gen NBA 2K22 Experience
We always strive to deliver a unique MyCAREER experience, and last year’s introduction of the City was a big step toward making 2K an immersive, open-world basketball adventure. This year we take a giant leap, as the MyCAREER story takes place entirely within City limits, bringing a level of immersion and control to the mode that feels completely new. What makes this possible is a quest-based MyCAREER that not only delivers the kind of engaging, unique storytelling that MyCAREER players have come to love over the years, but also allows the user to take full control of the narrative, completing both main storyline Quests and a host of Side Quests in various City locations. We’ll have more details on story specifics and the Quest system below, but the main takeaway here is that MyCAREER is no longer like a movie, and is more like an interactive adventure. We think you’ll find this change refreshing and unlike any other basketball video game experience out there. Of course, it wouldn’t be MyCAREER without taking your tricked out MyPLAYER to the City to compete on the blacktop against the best MyPLAYERs in the community, and we’ve got a host of improvements and enhancements to the City experience too -- including the introduction of Seasons to the City -- that will help bring your online multiplayer experience to new heights. Again, we’ll have many more details on what’s new below, but let’s start by talking about MyCAREER and your brand new MyPLAYER, MP.
Each year, MyCAREER allows you to take control of a unique MyPLAYER’s journey to the NBA and beyond, and this year is no different. 2K22’s MyPLAYER is MP, a high school star with a hit social channel featuring videos of him embarrassing amateurs on the playground. MP has just moved to the City with his best friend and business manager Ricky Bennett, and they’ve got big plans. Not only do they want to take over the basketball world, but they want to make their marks in the exciting worlds of music and fashion. The ultimate goal remains to make it to the NBA and lead your team to a championship (or three!), but how you get there and how you build your Personal Brand along the way (more on our new Personal Brand system below) offers more diverse and entertaining options than ever. In NBA2K22’s MyCAREER, you progress through the story however you like. It’s a much less linear and much more open experience, allowing you to build draft stock through pickup games, college, the G League, training sessions, interviews, and more. The story hasn’t left MyCAREER. In fact, it’s become more immersive than ever, allowing you, the player, to dictate the terms. There are many paths you can take to the NBA, and many side hustles you can pursue once you get there, but it’s up to you and your friend Ricky to find the path that’s right for you.
Getting to the NBA is just the beginning of this year’s MyCAREER story. Once you make it to the league, you’ll have to navigate a complex set of circumstances that we don’t want to give away just yet, but they involve difficult conversations with coaches, GMs, agents, and the press, and you will find yourself right in the thick of the behind-the-scenes drama that NBA fans love and that makes up such a huge part of the NBA fan experience. The choices you make in your first NBA season will be hard, each with its own set of pros and cons. These choices allow you to pursue the career and Personal Brand that’s right for you, making you feel more in control of your career than ever as you live with the consequences of how you choose to chase NBA glory.
The sheer number of characters you interact with is one of the highlights of this year’s MyCAREER. You’ll be visiting your PR Director at the team facility, reporters in their offices, and reps of brands like Nike and Adidas at their company headquarters. Almost anything you do in MyCAREER can be done by interacting face-to-face with colorful personalities. A favorite around the office is Marvin Castleberry, the pretentious record store employee. Make sure you stop by for a little music trivia. You’d be surprised what you can earn as a reward!
As we touched on earlier, this new structure exists with the help of our all-new Quest system. Players of open-world RPGs will be familiar with the type of vibe we’re going for. You’re not just taken from cut scene to cut scene. Instead, you choose who to talk to and when triggering tons of unique interactions with interesting personalities filmed in a cinematic style. It’s a lot of fun to play, and allows us to add more narrative beats and story arcs than ever before, deepening the feeling of living in a real, breathing world. Not only will things happen to you that are outside of your control, just like in real life, but the choices you make, in everything from play style to interview responses, unlock mini-story arcs and rewards that tailor the experience to what’s going on in your MyPLAYER’s career.
Music and Fashion
NBA stars are some of the most creative, enthusiastic entrepreneurs in the business world. We wanted to capture the excitement of pursuing side hustles in this year’s MyCAREER by introducing music and fashion storylines that you are free to pursue if they match your interests. That being said, some of our favorite scenes in the game take place in these storylines, so we recommend you check them out, especially if you’ve ever wanted to lay down a track in a professional recording studio. We don’t want to give too much away here, but we’re very excited for the community to see what’s in store for them should they choose to pursue outside interests in these always fascinating industries.
Speaking of outside interests, an NBA star has to carefully develop his Personal Brand to make the most of endorsement opportunities, so this year we’re introducing a Personal Brand system that mirrors this real-world dynamic. We’ll keep track of everything you do, on and off the court, and assign Personal Brand points to a variety of characteristics like Free Spirit, Flashy, Corporate, Fundamental, and more. Your actions and decisions influence your Personal Brand, and your Personal Brand dictates what off-court opportunities are available to you, so think carefully about what you do and how you do it.
This year we’ve added lots more Side Quests to enrich the experience outside of the main story arc. We mentioned music and fashion above, but there’s a lot more where that came from, ranging from races around the City (more on that below) to sit-down interview opportunities that crop up when you do things like run up the score at the end of a blowout. So while there is the main story arc that you can follow, there are also tons of opportunities for fun diversions throughout the City that can change on a daily, weekly, and yes, Seasonal, basis.
MVP of the City
Everything you do in the City -- and we mean everything -- earns you MVP points. NBA and City games, interviews, Side Quests and runway walks (yes, runway walks!), among other things, all bring you one step closer to becoming MVP of the City, the ultimate goal for any 2K baller. MVPs of the City unlock a penthouse apartment, quick access to affiliation courts, and more. No matter if you’re a City player, NBA enthusiast, or somewhere in between, you can become an MVP of the City just by playing the game the way you like to play it.
On top of everything else discussed, we’re introducing the concept of Seasons to MyCAREER and the City, meaning you’ll have fresh content to look forward to every six weeks. New Side Quests, new apparel, and much, much more. To learn more about how Seasons will keep NBA 2K22 fresh throughout the year, see our just-released Seasons Pre-Launch Courtside Report. We’ve given you a lot to chew on when it comes to all the enhancements we’ve made to MyCAREER, but we don’t want to gloss over what we’ve done to keep the City itself fresh, so let’s get to it!
An All-New City
The first thing you’ll notice when you enter this year’s City is how real it looks. Our art team did an incredible job making everything from bricks to fire escapes to windows look a lot more lived in. There’s dirt, scuffs, and aging exactly where you’d expect to see them in a city that wasn’t built yesterday, and depending on what time of day it is, the light hits buildings and monuments just so in a way that really showcases these enhancements. Take a moment to look around at sunset and we think you’ll see exactly what we mean. We’ve also added interiors that you can seamlessly enter and exit without any load whatsoever, including a huge, open-air mall that makes browsing quicker and more enjoyable than ever. The City looks and feels exactly how you’d expect a real-life City to look and feel, and we can’t wait for you to check it out.
Part of bringing the City to life is adding new locations. We touched on this above, but everyone you interact with in 2K22 now has a place in the City, and you’ll find yourself seeking out underground rappers, baristas, reporters, former MyPLAYERs, NBA stars, and more. There might even be a couple of newcomers throughout the year thanks to Seasons. Keep your eyes peeled for the newest additions to the City. You never know who you’ll meet… You’ll also notice that new locations and returning favorites are now teeming with life. Visit Perco Latte and observe everyone enjoying coffee and a conversation. Take a stroll through the farmer’s market and see all the people vying for the best produce in the City. The goal here is to make the City feel real and lived in, and we think you’ll be happy with the results.
Ever wonder what you should be focusing on today? Now, you will have the opportunity to get 5 new Daily Quests that will help you earn rewards like VC, XP, Personal Brand Points, MVP Points, exclusive gear, and more. There’s a lot of variety to what you can do, too, ranging from completing statistical milestones in City, NBA, and Pro-Am games, to earning endorsement cash for promoting local businesses in creative ways, to taking selfies in front of City landmarks. You’ll meet people like Zach LaVine and cover every inch of our new and improved City while completing Quest objectives. Whether you’re a completionist looking to cross every “t” and dot every “i”, or someone who’s just looking for a change of pace, Daily Quests are exactly what you’re after.
We touched on Seasons in the MyCAREER section, but they’re also being added to the City at large, and there are some BIG changes here. In prior editions of NBA 2K, Park and City players have had one big grind from Rookie to Legend, but this year there will be a new way to mark progress every Season, from Level 1 to Level 40, with fun new rewards at every level along the way. Does that mean you’ll lose all the cool stuff you’ve earned when a new Season rolls around? Absolutely not! Everything you’ve earned from previous Seasons carries over to future Seasons. The real benefit to moving towards Seasonal XP is that it keeps each Season fresh and allows you to achieve satisfying progress quicker than ever before. Every 6 weeks there will be a new pool of rewards like player panels, green indicators, clothing drops, jump shot releases, and more. Get to Level 40 and you’ll earn the BIG REWARD for that Season. Level up to 40 in 4 seasons (doesn’t have to be in a row) and you’ll become a Legend! We obviously can’t give away what Legends will earn, but we can already tell you the Legend reward will be as fun as ever.
City Spruce Up
In addition to refreshing rewards, Seasons will also refresh the look and feel of the City. There will be new court floors, new murals, and of course seasonal changes. Every six weeks the Season will change in ways both profound and subtle, just like a real-life City! And hey, start preparing yourself for the City Slam! What’s that you say? In time…
Every season will introduce 4 new Seasonal Stat Quests, pushing City ballers to do things like score a ton of points, throw down vicious alley-oops, drop dimes, and more, over the course of an entire Season. On top of that, every week there will be one new Race of the Week. Speaking of…
Race of the Week
This might just be the king of all Side Quests. That’s because whoever wins the Race of the Week will win One. Million. VC. You read that right! One million VC! Each week there will be a new racecourse set up throughout the City. You’ll use one of the various vehicles available to you: skateboard, BMX bike, etc., to complete the course as quickly as you can. The person with the fastest time in the entire community - one winner across both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S platforms - will receive one million VC. Pretty cool, huh? This isn’t a winner-take-all, though. Those who don’t finish first still get fun rewards like MVP points, VC, and XP. Start your engines! (or your feet…)
Fashion’s a big part of a baller’s lifestyle, and we’ll be adding new looks every season, allowing you to spruce up your wardrobe as the year progresses. Be on the lookout for drops from clothing brands like DIM MAK and Billionaire Boys Club, in addition to returning favorites. There will even be some apparel items that boost attributes (think shooting sleeves…), so this part of the game is as robust as ever.
One of our most requested features over the past few years has been matchmaking. We still love hooping on Affiliation Courts and holding them down, but for those of you who want a matchmaking experience, we’ve got you covered with the introduction of four brand new, 24/7 matchmaking modes that take place in locations throughout the City:
3v3 Player vs Player - No Squads Allowed!
Want to hop into a game without having to deal with a super team that’s been playing together for years? This is the mode for you. Randoms only! Randoms unite!
3v3 Player vs AI
Team up with other MyPLAYERs (squads allowed!) to take on a wide array of famous ballers, starting with our cover stars: Dirk, Kareem, and KD. Think you’ve got what it takes to defeat these legends? Hop in this mode and find out. And oh yeah, the player pool will grow and change every Season, so you’ll always have a new batch of NBA legends to test your skills against.
3v3 Player vs Player - Cage Matches
Trampolines and basketball go together like peanut butter and jelly. Now you can get into a cage quickly and take on all comers. Feel like running with a squad? You can do that here, too.
1v1 Player vs Player
Sometimes you need to settle things the old-fashioned way: a one-on-one duel. This matchmaking mode allows you to get into 1v1 games quicker than ever.
The City wouldn’t be the City without Affiliations, and we’re delighted to announce they’re back and better than ever, with each Affiliation occupying its own unique borough in the City. We’ve also made a tweak to the XP system, giving you a 20% XP boost for playing games on your home court.
A big part of playing in the City is events, and that hasn’t changed in 2K22. We’re bringing back some of your favorites, while adding new and exciting events to keep things fresh. One of the biggest events coming to Season 1 in 2K22 is the Chips Ahoy! Weekend Challenge where the winning baller takes home 1 million VC! We don’t want to give away too much more here either, but we think you’ll enjoy what we’ve got in store for you. And of course, events will update with each new Season.
Gatorade Private Courts
With the addition of Gatorade Rental Courts last year, we allowed players to work on their game solo or play pickup with other players of their choice. However, the Courts weren’t always available, and some players didn’t love having to spend VC on rental time, so this year we’ve eliminated the VC charge completely and added the ability to hop on a Gatorade Private Court whenever you feel like it. A small change, maybe, but one that we think will improve your quality of life in the City.
All Aboard the New Neighborhood for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC
We’ve talked about what’s coming to the City, now what do you say we discuss the new horizons PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC players will experience in NBA 2K22? For the first time ever, players will set sail on a Neighborhood that moves, aboard the “Cancha del Mar” for some competition on the high seas! From the lobby to the top deck, each level of the ship is artistically designed with plenty of your favorite hoops activities to keep you entertained all year long.
The ship is constructed with five tiers, starting in the lobby on Deck 4. The moment you board the cruise will make you feel as if you’re actually on vacation, ready to indulge in some festivities. To help get you situated, Heather will assist you with navigating the ship, offering tutorials to help accommodate your stay. She’s one of many NPCs that will assign you quests during your voyage.
When you’re ready to settle in, take the elevator to Deck 8, where you’ll find your MyCOURT, Pro-Am games and Team Practice Facility. MyCOURT is essentially your homebase and you can choose to customize it however you want; whether that entails plastering a colorful mural on the walls, reimagining the court, or changing out the scoreboard, the choice is yours. Competition is around every corner on the cruise and some of the best competition will take place in the Engine Room. Pro-Am 3v3 games will be accessible to you, but only if you join a Pro-Am squad.
As you work your way through the ship, you’ll find Ante Up, the Game Room, Restaurants, Daily Pick Em, and the Daily Spin on Deck 14. We’ve got so many rewards to share with you guys this year and we’re excited to see what you earn. On top of the daily rewards, the restaurants will do more than just serve fine-dining, they’ll also give out gifts and boosts a couple times per Season, which you won’t want to miss.
Resting above Deck 14 is Deck 15, which features 2v2s, 3v3s, and the Gatorade Training Facility, which has everything you need to keep your conditioning at an elite level — plus some breathtaking views. Once you finally reach Deck 16, you’ll find numerous courts waiting to host 3v3 games and even a new 5v5 court - with Park rules - surrounded by a lazy river, properly titled The Moat. You’ll be able to easily identify which NPCs offer side quests because they have an “!” floating above their head. In addition, the top deck features a reality show called “The GOAT Boat” and you can interact with the members to receive more challenges.
Lastly, to avoid getting cabin fever, the cruise will dock at myriad locations this year. Seasons will serve as the gateway for exciting new Excursions, taking you to tropical and recognizable locales each Season. The launch of every Season will lead to more fresh content, new rewards, and unique events for you to engage with. There’s so much to do on and off the cruise, bolstered by thrilling new events. Without giving too much away, keep an eye on the horizon this year for some things you’ll have to see to believe.
We here at Visual Concepts couldn’t be more excited to see MyPLAYERs from around the world unleashed in our all-new City and nautical Neighborhood. Whether you’re a new-gen player or a current-gen player, we’re giving everyone more to do and more to see, plus a wealth of new content. Exploring these new worlds will bring new challenges, thrills, and modes designed to get the most out of your experience. We’ve come a long way from The Park, and we’re thrilled with how much we’ve evolved and where we’re heading. You now get to live in a massive, open world that’s all about hoops. And the world is yours to do whatever you want in it. How cool is that? Before we wrap this thing up, we’d like to thank the fans and the community from around the world for playing NBA 2K and giving us feedback year after year. We do this for you, and we’re looking forward to providing you with the premier NBA and hoops experience on both the new-generation PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles, as well as PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. We’ll see you on the courts!