On Tuesday, 2K revealed an extended look at next-gen NBA 2K21 gameplay featuring the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans. The preview featured commentary from executive producers Erick Boenisch and Mike Wang, and it was far more raw than we’re used to seeing from 2K.
This style of preview said two things about 2K’s approach to the marketing the next-gen version of NBA 2K21.
2K is Pushing Transparency
Over the last few years, 2K has received criticism for practices that have come off as less than transparent and communicative.
On the strength of newly expanded patch notes, what appears to be an increase in developer-community interactions, detailed Courtside Reports, and now a five-minute, unedited gameplay video, it’s clear 2K wants to correct this negative perception.
I still believe the company should hire a team of community managers for its wide-ranging game modes who can be a liaison between fans and developers, but 2K’s trend of increased communication is better than the space the brand was in just before the unofficial, but obvious change.
2K is Very Confident in This Year’s Gameplay
It’s a lot easier to be transparent when you believe in your product. Based on the conversations I’ve had with developers, the focus on detailed gameplay improvements, and the unedited look at gameplay we got on Tuesday, it appears 2K is very confident in the on-court action the next-gen version of NBA 2K21 will deliver.
I cannot remember the last time we saw such a long gameplay preview from 2K at this point of the pre-release process. In previous release cycles, 2K has had special events where journalists and influencers have been able to capture content, but the pandemic has stopped those events for the time being.
Without that access, 2K has taken a more hands-on approach, but it hasn’t leaned solely on produced video to showcase the title.
The results have been mostly positive as the gameplay videos have caused some positive responses from the community and has heightened anticipation for the upgraded product.
We should find out about game modes later this week, and if we see true growth and expansion in those areas, it’ll only serve to further increase the anticipation for the NBA 2K21 next-gen release.