NBA 2K18 will be the first entry in the long-running simulation basketball franchise to feature a narrative-driven franchise mode, developer Visual Concepts announced this week.
Makers of sports games have been putting stories in their single-player career modes for many years now. But franchise modes, in which you manage the roster and finances of an entire team, have remained relatively clinical exercises where the player makes their own story.
NBA 2K has featured two different franchise modes for a while: MyGM, a where you control one team, and MyLeague (where you can control all 30 NBA teams). They’ve grown more and more similar over the years, but Visual Concepts is differentiating them in NBA 2K18 with a narrative element in MyGM. It is now known as MyGM: The Next Chapter, while MyLeague will continue to offer a traditional franchise experience.
MyGM: The Next Chapter casts you as a former NBA star who is returning to the league six years after a career-ending injury to become a general manager. The mode includes all kinds of cutscenes in which you have to interact with your team’s owner, staff and players, as well as the media and other clubs’ GMs.
In a Facebook post, NBA 2K18 senior producer Erick Boenisch offered few other story details for fear of spoilers, but said “the intent is for an engaging experience that steers clear of the typical sports clichés you may be conjuring up in your head.” He promised that personnel decisions will still lie in players’ hands, and won’t be dictated by the story.
Boenisch also touched on numerous other additions to NBA 2K18’s franchise modes. They’ve been updated to comport with the new NBA collective bargaining agreement, including features like “super max” contracts and the 14-player roster minimum. Visual Concepts has integrated the NBA G League (formerly the D-League): Although you won’t be able to play those minor-league games, you’ll have the ability to call up and send down players (including with two-way contracts).
Another way in which Visual Concepts is bringing the real NBA into NBA 2K is with the addition of a three-day moratorium period just before free agency begins. It won’t be possible to sign contracts during that time, but you can come to binding verbal agreements on deals.
For much more, check out Boenisch’s full post on the NBA 2K Facebook page. NBA 2K18 will be released Sept. 19 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.