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NBA 2K21 and NBA 2K League

NBA 2K21 Pricing and the NBA 2K League

Another year, another summer. Another NBA season. Just unlike any other. What says NBA 2K publisher 2K Sports? For one, the much-anticipated game NBA 2K21 will see a price hike on next-gen consoles.

SEPTEMBER 4TH? That’s the official date when players will be able to purchase the game. This means on Google Stadia, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Windows PC for the standard price of $59.99.

NBA2K21 Video Game Pricing

Later in the year, another version of NBA 2K21, more complementary to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will be released as a launch title. Business as usual, right? Not exactly. 2K sports will NOT be offering the newer version for the next-gen console for free, as other publishers have decided to do. In the realm of the NBA 2K universe? The next-gen version of NBA 2K21 video game pricing is set at $69.99.

Will 2K be using Microsoft’s Smart delivery system? Or Sony’s unnamed similar feature? No. Instead 2K wants to go in their own direction. Even though this is not the standard way everyone is marketing and pricing video games this year. People who want to make a one-time investment for BOTH gen consoles will have to purchase the NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever Edition for $99.99.

This edition is going to have dual access for both gen consoles. It is also a tribute to the great Kobe Bryant who died in a helicopter crash in January. Kobe Bryant has had a long history with the NBA 2K universe. It is only fitting that Kobe graces the cover of NBA 2K21. Just like NBA2K10 and 2K17.

The GOAT: gracing the cover of NBA 2K21. And NBA 2K10. And NBA 2K17.

NBA2K21 Current Generation Mamba Forever video game marketing
Current Gen Mamba Forever NBA 2K21 video game pricing an d video game marketing concept


Disappointing that next-gen games will be seeing price hikes in the future? Should other publishers follow suit? Perhaps. Unjustified price gouging? No. Completely unexpected? Definitely not. Producing a single AAA title for developers gets more expensive. With never-seen-before level of detail and complexity of mechanics and graphics, so do costs increase.

Recall DLCs of extra content, cosmetic upgrades and extra storyline?  Never really FREE.

What about the previous generation consoles? We saw a steady hike in the prices when it came to certain gold or platinum editions? Digital downloadable content (DLC) have never ever been free. DLC of extra content, cosmetic upgrades, and even added storyline, too? Yes, give us more. Free to produce? No


Players want to pay upfront. Not be nickeled and dimed for DLC after.

Consumer insights don’t lie. Many people prefer buying the full versions of the game prerelease. For the greater experience to the player. In one go.



NBA 2K League Perfect franchise brand and audience extension
NBA 2K League Perfect franchise brand and audience extension

The NBA is huge and growing business across the globe. As is eSports. It’s no wonder that the NBA2 League is one of the most serious esports ventures by a sports organization. What do the gamers expect? A sizable number of people are anticipating the NBA2K21 to be something very different. Different gameplay. Breathtaking graphics. Never-seen-before mechanics.

A global Sports audience for NBA 2K <—>A gaming audience for the NBA.

The joint venture between the NBA and Take-Two Interactive took off in February of 2017. Since then it has become a global Phenomenon. Drafts take place for the best players in the game. Millions watch the live-streamed drafts. From Munich and London to New York and LA. Add to that fervent contingent from Manila to Shanghai.  THIS is a clear sign of the state of the video game industry. How far the industry has come. Said to dwarf even music and movies.

Streaming rights in app, online, on Twitch and more to maximize audience tune-in and engagement

The NBA2K League is considered the fourth league. Alongside NBA, WNBA, and the [NBA] G League. No longer just a companion of a video game. It’s serious business. What about streaming rights? Broadcasting rights for live events such as the draft and the matches are given to different streaming platforms. To maximize audience and viewership, all to expand the already massive audience of the game.

Think You got what it takes?  What DOES it take to qualify?

As the league continues to grow in popularity, more and more people are waiting to get their hands on the next-gen of basketball gaming. What does it take to qualify? First, Players must be over the age of 18. Second, they have have the game either on the PS4 or the Xbox One.

After submitting an application, they compete in Pro-Ams. The qualifiers finally face off in a combat. Like a line from the US Marines recruitment ads. Only the few, the best are invited to the drafts.

A Vibrant Marketplace of newly drafted and tradable talent.  Like the NBA, like the NBA 2K League.

Some of the best players in the league enjoy protected status. What about the new blood, new talent? A LOT of newcomers are drafted alongside league players who are open for picking. These drafts are absolutely crucial for teams that were not able to perform well in the previous seasons.

This is the right moment in time. Teams get to scout the BEST newcomers and some of the not under-utilized draft-eligible players. To make their teams stronger. To round out gameplay. To become true contenders.


League Format for 2020

Force Majeure. And then the pandemic hit. Worldwide. Since the Covid-19 pandemic has halted a lot of public gatherings, sports and esports arenas alike sit empty. Numerous sports around the world have resumed without the presence of an audience. For esports, the online realm IS the arena.


NBA 2K League in the Face of COVID. Bigger, Better, more Resilient than Ever.

Similarly, in the NBA2K League, the 23 teams are playing via remote gameplay through their local markets. Remote gameplay resumed until Friday, July 17th. 

For the first two seasons, the broadcasting rights of the event were given to YouTube and Twitch. Effective? Very. This generated about 1.8 million views on YouTube and accumulated 48 million hours of watch time on Twitch. This year the broadcasting is on ESPN 2 and the ESPN app. A smart calculated move. For the NBA to bring the NBA2K franchise to a much larger audience. Far beyond video game marketing platforms like Twitch.

Thus, the average sports lover will also get to know how big the NBA2K League is. At the same time, this will generate a lot more interest for a different age bracket according to consumer insights


Teams and Players


Expanding Footprint of NBA 2K League.  Add to that the inaugural Gen G Tigers of Shanghai and Hornets Venom GT.

The NBA2K league currently comprises 23 teams. 2 of them, Hornets Venom GT affiliated with the Charlotte Hornets and Gen G Tigers of Shanghai associated with Gen G were inaugurated this season. 

NBA2K consists of teams that are affiliated with state teams of the NBA with players being drafted traditionally. Players contest in a 5v5 best of 3 formats where they use their unique custom players instead of the already existing avatars of NBA pros. 

Kobe, Magic, Jerry West – the GOATs of the NBA. 

The NBA2K League is filled with insanely talented players who have garnered a huge following in the world of esports. Only the ones who are absolute GOATS are given the protected status during the drafts because let’s face it, everyone wants the MVP.

Kobe Bryant talks about climbing GOAT mountain. In his quest to BE the best, he sought out and learned from the best.  The GOATs he sought?  Magic.  Michael.  Jerry West. For the NBA 2K League?  The players ARE the GOATs of this game.  Bar none.

The GOATS of NBA 2K League

2019’s MVP Neadal “Mama I’m Dat Man” Nasser sporting the number 30 jersey for Blazer5 gaming is an absolute pleasure to watch on the virtual court. Some may argue that his playstyle is a bit selfish with him trying to score without passing. For those who have followed the NBA for more than the last 10 years, we remember. Some pundits argued the same thing about Kobe and MJ.

That style is what gets the Blazer5 considerably ahead of their opponents. Some might even say it is the style of the great Kobe Bryant, and when you’re that good, you deserve the ball till it reaches the rim.

Then we have the best defensive player of 2019 Marcus “Goddof2k” Glenn, the shooting guard for the Cavs Legion GC. And WHAT a guard he is. Some of his best plays? They include him making the block at the most crucial moments and making incredible passes facilitating his teammates until the very end. Goddof2k is one man you don’t want defending against you.

Other great players include Feast, Reizey, Jeff Terrell, ToxSik, Jomar12, Dimez. And a LOT more. The roster is filled with talented players that provide the best esports entertainment one can ever hope for.

The Comps and Perks of Being in the NBA 2K League

All the players in the league sign a six month contract. All relocation and housing are all taken care of by the league. Other benefits include medical insurance, food costs, a retirement plan, housing, and transportation. Players can rest assured they are well taken care. Playing in the big esports leagues? Then showered with big league perks and fame.


The NBA’s Esports Era

As the Esports era is growing massively on a global scale, NBA made the right move to invest in a gaming league of their own. The level of support for the NBA2K League? Positively phenomenal.

NBA – a Global Phenomenon. From America to Europe and Asia and back – through NBA 2K

Numerous countries in the world experience the NBA for the first time. NBA 2K, through gaming and inclusion of the Esports genre as a fourth league, IS their taste and interaction with the NBA. The NBA can market itself globally very easily. Brand and audience extension at its BEST.

Millions of players logging in daily, clocking 90 minutes of NBA2K every day. Their perception of the NBA2K league? For some, the ONLY way in which they can experience a sport on a global scale. According to the esports market research, there are about 200 million online gamers who are competing in games such as Dota 2, LOL, and Fortnite, etc. Many STILL are not necessarily aware of the NBA2K experience.

With over 1.4 billion basketball fans around the world, NBA2K League can reach an INSANE number of followers. ESPECIALLY for the NBA and 2K, both eyeing expansion in the Asian markets. Places where most peoplem as mentioned before, have only experienced basketball through video games and documentaries. Something for anyone aspiring to make video games of their own. And reaching gamers by the millions across the globe.

What happens when theNBA2k League grows in these regions? More and more countries will start to watch the NBA . The overall NBA market can expand immensely. From the Americas to the East, where many have only watched live basketball games in the Olympics.

NBA2K league? Officially kicked off. NBA2K21? Closely watched and released. The pandemic? Making everyone stay at home.

Brand + Franchise + Audience expansion. At its BEST!

Next year’s season? Projeted to be bigger than ever. This is the year that the NBA and NBA2K can expect to see a significant increase in the number of fans and experiences they will have.  Bigger than last year. And the year before. Brand + Franchise + Audience expansion. At its BEST!