With a planned release date of September 10 for NBA 2K22, and information sparse, the game’s community has been wondering if the upcoming title is headed for a delay.
I decided to go directly to the source to find the answer to this question.
Per a 2K representative: “All editions of NBA 2K22 are currently scheduled for worldwide release on September 10, 2021 and that hasn’t changed since we announced it.”
Now that we know the release date is firm, the next question is pretty obvious.
Why the Late Release on Information?
We’ve seen release cycles come and go with information rollouts that were later than others. However, this year is perhaps the latest in the more than 10 years I’ve covered the franchise, and the 22 years NBA 2K has been in existence.
The easy and most logical explanation is still a compound one. The first piece is due to the pandemic and the impact its had on game development.
A title like 2K, which depends on getting real-life scans of players and motion-capturing of athletes could easily be impeded by the restrictions most businesses have endured behind COVID-19. The other side of the most practical explanation is related to the release of next-gen consoles in 2020.
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S both hit stores just before the holidays in 2020, and during the throws of the pandemic. 2K was the only developer of an annual sports series that produced a completely separate and independent version of its game for both generations of systems.
While that obviously had some positives, there were also negatives. On one hand, the next-gen version, while beautiful, had a good amount of issues under the hood.
Secondly, in having the 2K development team work on the game months past the normal release date, they in turn had the shortest development cycle ever. That much was confirmed to me by a 2K developer during a recent preview session for NBA 2K22.
With last-minute development likely still taking place on the game, that might explain the slower than normal release of information. It’s all a trickle-down effect, which might also lead to another question.
What State Will the Game Be in When it Releases?
The game won’t be delayed, but there was a shorter development cycle, and information has been slow to release. It is easy to see why that would be a concerning dynamic.
Unfortunately, 2K has earned a reputation for releasing in a state where multiple patches are needed before the game settles into a functioning space without bugs and other errors. Let’s be clear, there is a difference between a bug or game-breaking issue and stuff you just don’t like about the game. Quite often, the two concepts are confused.
In any case, there is a lot happening at once on the 2K side, and we’ll have to wait for the retail version, or perhaps and as-yet announced demo before we have a good idea of what’s right or wrong with NBA 2K22.
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