The massive move toward supporting the WNBA in NBA 2K21 was clearly just the beginning. 2K is doubling down on diversifying its content focus with even more W-specific modes and features in NBA 2K22.
2K recently dropped the details on the expansions to The W, and the experience is much more fleshed out.
The Focus is On Expanding the Focus on the Women in the WNBA
In a recent NBA 2K22 press release, Felicia Steenhouse, Senior Producer at Visual Concepts shared 2K’s goal for The W Mode:
Since introducing The W to NBA2K, we’ve set out to develop one of the most comprehensive sets of game modes and features focused on a women’s professional league. It’s grounded in authenticity and delivers an experience that honors and elevates some of the best ballers in the world: the women of the WNBA.
This is a spectacular initiative that has rendered some promising details and features. From a pure basketball standpoint, the gameplay in WNBA was arguably the smoothest and most realistic in the entire game.
This year, the W experience more closely emulates the things that are available in the NBA and MyCareer experience. That includes badge progression for female MyPlayers.
For years, players have created on the MyCareer side, but the new additions to the W means that experience can be had exclusively with female avatars.
The W might be giving a bit of a preview into what we can expect from the MyCareer in the NBA experience. A part of the W journey includes off-day activities, which can include working with established WNBA stars on workouts.
According to 2K, the contact experience will be layered.
NBA 2K22 will feature contact workouts, an exciting way of learning new skills in The W. Progressing through the Season will help you form connections with some of the WNBA’s brightest stars, such as Candace Parker, A’ja Wilson, and Nneka Ogwumike. You’ll be able to challenge them to 1-on-1, 2-on-2, or even 3-on-3 games of 21. Best of all, you’ll be able to join forces with players after you make contact with them. You can choose to play alongside a player or go toe-to-toe against them in future workouts. Each contact specializes in different skills and will help you improve one of your badge categories. By beating them, you’ll boost your badge in that category significantly. If you can’t defeat your contact the first time around, it’s all good. You can always run it back as many times as you like.
This should add an intriguing piece to the WNBA experience, but it’s the appetizer for the main course of the new additions in this mode.
The W Online is the Real Meat on the Bone
The W Online is the mode that allows users to take their female avatars online to compete against each other. This year, there will be online co-op and vs.
Here is a brief breakdown:
Now you’ll be able to link with your friends before the matchmaking process. The W Online will allow you to play online with your friends and take the court as a team. Whether you’re competing with your friends or solo, you’ll earn Season XP by playing games. Leveling up will earn you new prizes and rewards, such as two new historic contacts from the Houston Comets and New York Liberty who will be playable during contact workouts! At the start of every season, we’ll refresh the historic contacts so you can keep growing your network. The W’s all-new off day experiences, badge progression, and contact workouts are all about making your dreams a reality with NBA 2K22. Not only can you envision yourself as a WNBA player, you can actually become a WNBA Legend.
It will be interesting to see how it all comes together, but there is a lot to like about these details preliminarily.