The folks at Visual Concepts have given us yet another sneak peek at the next-gen of NBA 2K21 this week. In today’s Courtside Report, NBA 2K21 Senior Producer Felicia Steenhouse talks about how NBA 2K’s WNBA Season mode will change and evolve on the Xbox Series S/X and PlayStation 5. Let’s take a look at MyWNBA and The W.
In NBA 2K20, 2K added all 12 WNBA teams in Play Now mode. More importantly, it let players start and compete in the 2019 WNBA season as any of the 12 teams. This mode was received well; Our own Chris Walker called it “one of the best things you will find in NBA 2K20,” in our review. Visual Concepts built off of that early success by introducing the new MyWNBA mode. On next-gen NBA 2K21, players can create a fully customizable, multiseason WNBA franchise mode, complete with Online Leagues. 2K will offer some presets for your league, but you’ll be able to change everything, and share your settings with the world. Players will have access to community settings as well.
The announcements get more exciting from here. Steenhouse follows up MyWNBA by announcing The W, a full WNBA Career Mode. You start by creating a player. The blog post focuses on the fact that your player progression in The W is based entirely on gameplay, in true Basketball RPG style. That means that, when creating a player, you’ll choose from a list of player archetypes. What kind of Point Guard do you want to build? Do you want to focus on passing and ball-handling? Try a 2-Way Playmaker. Would you rather play the perimeter and rain threes? Build a 3&D Point. There are 18 different player types to start, and you can find more details on each in the blog post.
The pitch for The W reads a bit like a hybrid simulation basketball game slash time management visual novel (think the Persona series). Your player will join a WNBA team and play in games, which is where your player’s progression takes place. Basketball players aren’t always playing games though, and The W focuses on the actions your player takes off the court as well. Your player will be able to attend different events on your off days, and what events you attend affects the core progression of the game.
Getting It Done On and Off The Court
Alongside player progression, you’ll also be looking at player popularity, WNBA popularity, player wealth, and teammate chemistry. You gain popularity by making big plays during games, and by promoting yourself on your days off. Wanna build a relationship with a teammate? Hang out with them on an off day to increase your teammate chemistry. You’ll be able to attend events that increase the overall popularity of the WNBA as well, which brings more money into the league for player salaries. Then, you can spend that money on cool swag for your player.
Choosing how your player spends this off time and develops these different pillars seems like the heart of The W. Honestly, the blog alone has me thinking about picking up NBA 2K21 on next-gen consoles. The W sounds like the kind of RPG career experience I’ve been looking for in a sports game.
The accompanying press release ends with a teaser that’s written as follows: “fans will soon get an in-depth look of the biggest expansion of NBA 2K’s online basketball community feature: the experience formerly known as The Neighborhood.” Perhaps this will be the subject of next Wednesday’s Courtside Report?
For more info on the upcoming next-gen release of NBA 2K21, check out our articles on next-gen shooting, movement, and MyPlayer and AI changes. You can check out our review of current-gen NBA 2K21 here. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook so you don’t miss news on NBA 2K and more!