The latest installment of the NBA 2K video game will hit shelves next month with 12 new teams and a star-studded crew never seen before.
NBA 2K20 officially welcomes the WNBA to its game Thursday with a first look by reigning MVP Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm and Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks.
“The first time you see the L.A. Sparks and you see Candace Parker on the game, it’s just as important for girls and boys to be able to see females as role models,” Parker said on the inside look video.
Welcoming the WNBA to #NBA2K20 🙏 Get an inside look at gameplay and hear what it means to @Candace_Parker & @BreannaStewart to officially be in the game
WNBA Gameplay Blog ➡️ https://t.co/E0uJdMb27t pic.twitter.com/IyIOP71kaC
— NBA 2K20 (@NBA2K) August 8, 2019
The game, set to be released Sept. 6, will feature all 12 WNBA teams in its “play now” and “season” modes and will have top players as part of its story mode.
Stewart, Parker and 2018 Rookie of the Year A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces completed the motion-capture process with game developers to put their specific movements into the game. There are at least 3,000-5,000 animations, game player director Mike Wang said.
"Just like my counterparts in the NBA, I grew up playing NBA 2K," Parker told espnW. "You can tell they are taking the time to capture the essence of the WNBA and have created an immersive experience that all fans of basketball will love."
Ronnie 2K of the NBA2K brand told The Boardroom it had been discussed for a few years and “sort of under development” in that time.
“It was really important for us to work with that brand,” Ronnie 2K told The Boardroom. “Women’s basketball is such an amazing thing and it’s been exciting for us to kind of participate in that growth.”
Jeff Thomas, SVP of development, visual concepts, told the Associated Press fans have requested the move for years.
"We've been working with the WNBA and their top players to recreate a hyper-realistic version of their league with pinpoint accuracy. We're excited to roll out this new feature in NBA 2K20 because we know how important the WNBA is to the world of basketball."
The ratings release is always a heated debate, though Stewie seems content. Her 95 is the same as Stephen Curry and two points below the highs of LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, according to 2kratings.com. It’s the first overall rating released for the WNBA.
— The Boardroom (@boardroom) August 8, 2019
WNBA commissioner Cathy Enelbert said, via espnW:
"We are excited to have WNBA players as part of this top-selling video game, helping to bring more exposure to these elite players, expanding our fan base and providing an immersive gaming experience featuring women role model athletes.”
The WNBA was included in NBA Live 2018, its first major video game. The 2019 installment included the ability to customize female characters.
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