We got a lot of news in regards to 2K's NBA series this week, the first tidbit is the cover athletes. Damian Lillard will be the cover athlete for the Standard version of the game on Current Generation consoles, while Zion Williamson will be the cover athlete for the standard version of the game on next generation titles. Kobe Bryant will be the cover athlete for the Mamba editions of the game, featuring two different versions of the cover art for both current and next generation titles. These various covers can be seen in the slideshow below.
On top of the new various covers for the various editions of the game, 2K put out a graphic detailing each version of the game. In the chart below, we get information on which consoles can play which version of the game, how to upgrade from one generation into the next, price for each edition, and a lot of information in regards to NBA2K's MyTeam and MyPlayer features.
The big two takeaways are the price of the standard versions of the game, and the upgrade method. The MSRP for the current generation standard version of NBA2K21 will be $59.99 USD, whereas the next generation version of the standard game will cost $69.99 USD. This could hint that next generation titles will cost on average $10USD more than their current generation counterparts.
It's never been a secret that games cost a lot of money to make, and throughout the past two console generations we haven't seen a raise in price in regards to standard games, even though the cost to develop those same games continues to increase every year. This could be the first sign that games will cost a little more to offset the cost of development, something the industry has hinted at for years now, but no one was brave enough to start. With 2K being the first developer to list a $69.99 USD price for next generation games, the industry will have to wait and see how players react, and how other studios will react.
The upgrade method however should not be overlooked. 2K describes it best as a form of cross-buy, as players who purchase the $99.99 USD Mamba Edition of the game on either console generation will receive a free copy of the standard version of the game on the other generation console within the same family. In short, if you buy Mamba on Xbox One, you get the standard on Series X, and vice versa. As of writing there does not appear to be a time limit on when players can redeem their free copy of the standard version, as the only restriction listed is that it has to be within the same console family.
2K's news this morning has shaken the industry in quite a few different ways as it has a much different approach to upgrading between console generations and setting the new price for standard games in the next generation. We will have to wait and see how other studios and the industry as a whole reacts to the news within the coming months.