Admittedly it takes something a bit out of the norm to get me to pay attention to sports games. Madden’s new physics engine has me intrigued, but I’ve also been known to play football games more often than others. Basketball video games outside of NBA Jam and I haven’t gotten along since my 16-bit days. I honestly want a reason to play them again, and NBA 2K13 has just dunked me.
The full roster of the original Dream Team is locked in for NBA 2K13. I’ll let that resonate with this image:
With this being the 20th anniversary of the Dream Team’s run through Barcelona, it is a fitting addition for the game but it did not come easily for 2k Sports. The original announcement had a majority of the team, but Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen were strangely not included.
Licensing deals with retired professional athletes have to be a struggle. When was the last time you remember teams full of retired players, let alone with their proper names and likenesses? I’m going with never. Isolated players, sure, but an entire team has to be tricky as Barkley had been approached as recently as last year by 2K to appear in its ‘Greatest’ mode and turned it down.
Enter a new executive producer on the game by the name of Jay-Z combined with fan outcry, and the negotiating wheels started turning more effectively. Barkley quickly got on board and earlier this week the final hold out, Scottie Pippen, reached a deal to appear in the game. The full team is licensed and ready to go.
Personally, the story to make all of this happen may turn out to be more interesting to me than the game itself. I think we will start seeing more deals with retired players across a multiple sports from here on out. Plus, I can’t deny my desire to crush Team USA 2012 with some of my favorite players of all time.
What do you think? Should more games bring back retired players?