This article originally said the game would feature the first female cover stars (plural)
2K has announced that NBA 2K22 will be released on September 10, 2021.
Ahead of the first look at game features “in the coming weeks”, 2K said the title will feature “best-in-class visual presentation and player AI, historic teams, and a wide variety of hoops experiences”.
A cross-gen digital bundle and a special NBA 75th Anniversary Edition of NBA 2K22 are also being released.
The former costs $79.99 and offer players access to the standard edition across last and current-gen consoles within the PlayStation and Xbox families. As with the standard edition, the title’s cover star is two-time NBA All-Star Luka Dončić.
The NBA 75th Anniversary Edition, which also provides a version of the game on each hardware generation within the same console family, costs $99.99 for all platforms. 2K said it will celebrate cover stars Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Durant, “showcasing how each of these athletes changed the game”.
Chicago Sky star Candace Parker, a six-time WNBA All Star and WNBA Champion, has also been confirmed as the first female cover athlete in the history of the franchise. In North America, Parker features on a special version of the standard edition of NBA 2K22, available exclusively through GameStop and EB Games.
And in Japan, players can buy a special version of the standard edition with Washington Wizards’ rising star Rui Hachimura on the cover. He was the first Japanese player to be drafted in the first round in 2019 and the first Japanese player to reach the NBA Playoffs.
NBA 2K21 was the first next-gen game to be priced at $70 and has shipped over 10 million copies, according to 2K’s parent company Take-Two.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said in 2019 that he believes the industry’s “close” to delivering games that are indistinguishable from real life. The executive told CNBC that PS5 and Xbox Series X would help developers achieve photorealism.
“We have a new console generation coming and that’s going to allow us to do some things that we haven’t been able to do before creatively, that’s exciting,” he said.
“But as I’ve said before, we’re going to reach a point where you won’t be able to tell the difference between what’s created in the computer and what’s real.”
Zelnick said lifelike graphics are particularly suited to certain types of games such as the NBA 2K series, but not to others.
“That doesn’t mean we’ll do it for all of our games,” he said. “Borderlands, for example, is an animated universe, it’s always going to be an animated universe.
“But this promise of taking certain titles like basketball and making it truly look like live-action—it’s pretty close now, squint a little bit, it looks like live-action—that’s really exciting, and that gives our creative folks a new canvas on which to paint.”