NBA 2K23 completely revamps its franchise mode, bringing everyone back in time

NBA 2K23 completely revamps its franchise mode, bringing everyone back in time ...

NBA 2K11 was anchored by the Jordan Challenge, a sports championship that was honestly given as the overall game-of-the-year consideration at the time. The mode will return for NBA 2K23, but this weeks revelation also introduced an elephant into fans' living rooms: Who is the NBA's Greatest?

NBAs Greatest was the historical mode for NBA 2K12, which likewise appeared only in that game. It was a far superior experience for many fans than the 2010 Michael Jordan tribute. Now we know that Visual Concepts did not forget them.

In NBA 2K23, NBA's Greatest is merged into the MyNBA franchise mode, now known as MyNBA Eras, giving players the opportunity to rewrite three distinct periods of league history over a multiyear period (they may also start from the current NBA season) as previously.

According to executive producer Erick Boenisch, a 20-year veteran of the NBA 2K series and the lead designer of the franchise mode for 15 years, weve included a feature set that we've been talking about for my entire tenure at Visual Concepts. This year, we were posing the question, What if you could go back in time and change the course of NBA history?

Three different historical starting points for the MyNBA Eras are available: 1983, 1991, and 2002. Players might, for example, take over the Portland Trail Blazers and, prior to the 1984 season, draft Michael Jordan with the No. 2 pick instead of Sam Bowie. In real life, that fateful selection would come back to haunt the Blazers in 1992, with Bowie long gone from the team and the Jordans Chicago Bulls stopping Portland in a six-game NBA Finals.

This has been a pet issue of mine for more than a decade, going back to the exceptional NBA 2K12, which laid just as much of a foundation for NBA 2K23 as the Jordan Challenge did. But, if NBA 2K introduced a game with Roundball Rock, how would you imagine it would be like?

The Gatorade song is probably better known as the NBC basketball theme from the 1990s, and while NBC still broadcasts it for Olympic basketball coverage, its creator, John Tesh, is still deeply fond of it (and especially the NBC Sports fanfare opening the broadcast after a dramatic monologue from Marv Albert or Bob Costas).

So, did Boenisch, whose detail-driven leadership involved artists making sure the appropriate Chips Ahoy! advertisements were used throughout the year, ever contemplate licensing Roundball Rock?

I just didnt feel like there was the perfect, perfect, perfect, perfect, perfect fit for it, Boenisch said, giving a hint of what his standards were for NBA 2K23. I do believe there will be a home for Roundball Rock at some point in NBA 2K, and I didnt want to just license it and throw it in there.

For me, its more than just a song; its an entire experience; it's a feeling going into the games, according to the musician.

The answer to that question is quite reasonable. Honestly, I'm surprised Boenisch was as serious about it as he was. I believe it will come in NBA 2K, but it wont be this year, as he stated. Even so, I'll enjoy NBA 2K23 knowing that my Rock will arrive someday.

Boenisch said the system will provide players with an end-of-year summary of what will happen next season, such as rule changes or franchise relocations. You can argue against the [Seattle] SuperSonics' move to Oklahoma City in 2008.

Here are edited rosters, and user-created draft classes for those who want to fill gaps where we could not [get] certain players, according to Boenisch. Yes, MyNBA Eras will be playable for up to 80 seasons from the start, as Franchise/The Association/MyGM were.

According to Boenisch, everything is available for individuals to create their own universe. That includes expanding the league to as many as 36 teams at any point along the timeline.

The three historic starting points for the NBA's most dominant players are: 1983, 1991, and 2002, when Michael Jordan was president; and the same broadcast presentation and gameplay elements that go into an incredible Jordan Challenge will also be included in MyNBA Eras.

For games played between 1983 and about 2000, Mike Fratello will sit with leading play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan, and present-day games will feature the same varied commentator rotation the NBA 2K series has used for the past five years. MyNBA Eras will also follow the same gameplay director Mike Wang described last week in the Jordan Challenges preview.

MLB The Show Boenisch noted that the arenas themselves have era-specific looks. Im sure you saw from the screenshots, and the Jordan Challenge trailer, it really grounds the environment, Boenisch said. There's nothing weird; [the viewer isnt] seeing AT&T 5G in 1983. It's dumb. We made sure none of that happens.

Serious basketball enthusiasts are likely to wonder whether or not this or that historically accurate detail, like changing from two to three in 1988-1989, or non-expansion divisional realignments, will show up in the NBA All-Star Game. Boenisch says the answer to all of these is yes.

However, he and Visual Concepts anticipated a lot of distrust from the NBA 2K series' core, franchise-playing foundation. Team finances will vary according to the era, as will changing the rookie contract scale. In addition, taking a player out of historical order means the draft should still go on smoothly.

Boenisch noted that re-rating guys, doing the badges, creating draft classes, testing their abilities, and making sure they develop correctly are all parts of a lengthy process. Sitting there, tweaking and tuning those, and simulating and adjusting again is a lot of work.

MyNBA Eras is a blue-sky sports game designers' dream come true, to the exclusion of fans who had seen MyGM and MyNBA take a back seat to the MyCareer and MyTeam modes. It is more than a sports titles most-iterated mode and sets a standard for other developers to either envy or live up to.

Boenisch said: "I'm incredibly proud of what the team has accomplished." And I'm equally confident that it's precisely what our target audience has been clamoring for so long.