How did NBA 2k21 have all the promise in the world just to lose it within two months of its release and what made it fall so fast?

With the launch of the PS5 and the Xbox series X, people had nothing but high hopes for 2k21 on these consoles. With the release of the trailer the hype surrounding the game was through the roof so much that when the new PS5 came out it only took 29 minutes for it to sell out. People where happy the game loaded quick and the graphics looked amazing.


One big addition to the game was the City, which was a big open space where you had different affiliations. A positive about the City were that players can shoot around before your games, which players have never been able to do in any other NBA2k in the past. The game also reintroduced the double takeover. Takeover is when you get a boost to a specific type of attribute, for example sharp takeover you get a boost to your 3-point shot.

Positives changes that surprised people were to the build system and the My career mode. With new pie charts players where able to make new builds in the game which let players be more creative with their player. My career mode was updated so players could go to either college or the G-League. With all the positives there is a common theme and that is the freedom that the players get to either customize or make decisions in game.

But why did this game crash so fast? About two weeks after the launch of the game, people started to experience problems. One of the problems was how much contest a player got when guarding you. Shot contest is how much a player affects your shot when they defend against you. This is an example of one inconsistent within the game that made it difficult for players to enjoy the game experience. NBA2k could have fixed this within days of notification from the community but did not begin working on a fix for two weeks.

The addition of the City caused the server to crash or lag because of the volume of people using live features. There was only a limited number of people available for live games, making the feature less enjoyable for players. Other issues experienced where the updating of your player, moving around the game took long periods of time and loading the game you would just get stuck on that screen. All of these resulted in poor player experiences and forced players to restart the game.

Now you could also look at the community and one thing with the 2k community is they are one of the most destructive communities. The thing that makes them so destructive is the constant DDos attacks that happen. A DDos attack is when some sends so many requests to your network that it cannot handle it and will then shut it down making you have to go get a new router. The problem with this is a lot of people play the game casually and do not really know how to defend against these attacks making them easy targets.

Blame for these issues could be placed on the marketing team as they hyped the game up so much and said some things that would be in the game that never ended up in the game. Another problem was they did not have enough developers to work on the game. This is a problem that NBA2k have had for years but it was amplified this year by the pandemic and the unfinish product they put out this year. Many people have said if they had more people working on the game then they could get more done and put out a better product. The last time the community enjoyed a NBA2k game was 2k16 which was put out in 2015.

What some people have started to do is go back to last years game 2k20 because of how much they do not enjoy 2k21. This year was a console jump year where Sony and Microsoft had put out new and improved consoles making them better than the current generation ones. If you told anyone that a game played on the older generation of console would be played more than the game on the new console you get people calling you crazy.

The result of leaving the product unfinished is that you have people who stream it and play It for a living are moving on and playing something else. One person who did this was Adin he averages about 40,000 viewers when he streams, one day on stream in front of 45,000 people, he showed his displeasure with the game by deleting the game. Things like this make people who watch him who may have never seen the game before think they should not buy it.

In December 2020, everyone who was meant to be talking about the game just left and went ghost for a month. People who where playing the game had no idea if a new update was coming or if they where even working on the game. This worried a lot of people who play the game because if the people that made the product, they are playing have giving up on it then why are they even playing it.

Can NBA2k recover from this? With the 960 million in revenue, NBA2k could hire more people and create a better game. Nba2k already had an understaffed team before the pandemic and with it that team is struggling to get anything done. Focusing on making one product instead of two would be better.  Hire a community manager because right now they just have Ronnie 2k being the digital marketing director and the “communities voice”.

2k has put out good product in the past and when this pandemic is over a lot of people think that 2k can get back to putting out a good product. In the end this game really failed only because of the lack of work and effort put into it. If they had put more work in to the game or just released one product this year, they could have made something amazing.