NBA 2K19 releases on September 7 for fans who pre-order the Special Edition 20th Anniversary Edition. It hits retailers on September 11 for everyone else.
I’ve put out a number of wishlists and such for the upcoming release, but this is the first time I’ll go out on a limb and predict features or focus areas for NBA 2K19. I have five and they are very specific. It might be a bit of wishful thinking, but after reading this, it should at least be seen as sensible possibilities.
LeBron James Mode
2K missed an opportunity to bring back a mode/concept that fans have been asking for when they didn’t deliver a Kobe-Bryant-centric mode in NBA 2K17. Bryant was the Legends Edition cover athlete and quite frankly, 2K underutilized his presence.
I don’t think that will happen this year with James. I had an opportunity to speak with 2K’s VP of Basketball Operations Alfie Brody and I asked him about a return of the LeBron James Path To Greatness mode from NBA 2K14, or at least something like it.
It was too early in the development process to discuss details about the game, but he said he’d love to “talk more about what we have up our sleeves when the time comes.” If you look at the trailer announcing James as the cover athlete, there is old-school 2K footage and some clips of James in high school.
I could be wrong, but it appears as though 2K is laying the groundwork for a mode based on James or at least his journey.
Free Or Decreased Pricing For Cosmetic Additions In Neighborhood
One of the biggest issues with 2K this year was its dependency on virtual currency. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect 2K or any other developer to abandon this business model. However, 2K should be wise enough to peel back a layer. One of the more egregious elements in the Neighborhood was the high price tags on cosmetic upgrades like haircuts and tattoos.
I’d like to think the prices for those will be either drastically reduced or eliminated completely in NBA 2K19.
NBA 2K League Developmental Features
2K is doing its part to market the NBA 2K League, but I fully expect there to be something put in place within this year’s game that helps to nurture the future of the league. The NBA and 2K need to make the pathway to upcoming seasons more clear, and that can best be accomplished by implementing in-game structures that encourage, empower and/or educate hopefuls on their journey to the league.
I don’t know what these things will be, but there has to be something done to assist the NBA 2K League.
A Fortnite-Esque Option In Neighborhood
Every developer is copying Fortnite to some degree. It would be foolish for 2K not to follow suit. Obviously, this is a basketball game and Fortnite is a battle royale shooter, but if there is anything that 2K can borrow from the formula Epic Games used to create its megahit, I’m betting on it happening.
A Live Ball
There are two major gameplay issues with NBA 2K18. Ball security for big men in the paint and the defender’s inability to touch the ball when a player is dribbling. Of the two, the untouchable ball and other collision-detection mishaps are the most disruptive to gameplay.
I’d think 2K has to address that issue in this year’s game.