A surprising twist for the upcoming basketball game from 2K Sports and Visual Concepts is that they've collaborated with renown filmmaker Spike Lee to bring the game's story mode to life. The announcement sent quite a bit of buzz circulating through the sports and gaming world.
Over on the Business Wire, the press release for the announcement went live, with Spike Lee stating...
Partnering with legendary 2K and Visual Concepts is one of the most unique challenges I’ve had in filmmaking, and allows me to push the boundaries of innovative storytelling, […] My hope is fans will feel even more connected to the world of basketball in NBA 2K16.
It's kind of a scary thinig for some gamers because this is Lee's first experience with directing a video game.
It's not uncommon for some directors to make the leak into the world of interactive entertainment, but usually it's on the grounds of writing the scripts for the games or working on the game in name only, a little like Steven Spielberg with Boom Blox or Gore Verbinski's canned project Matter. However, some directors have been known to sign on and get a bit hands on with the game, such as Guillermo Del Toro, who had plans to work closely with Hideo Kojima on the now-cancelled Silent Hills.
Spike Lee, however, will be working closely with the visual design team Visual Concepts on the motion capture work. They've been known to help bring a lot of 2K Games titles to life in the past, and have even worked on the more recent WWE 2K games.
The president of Visual Concepts, Greg Thomas, dropped a few comments about working with the Hollywood director, saying...
Working with Spike Lee on NBA2K16’s MyCAREER has elevated our most popular game experience from both a visual and narrative perspective, […] By writing and directing the MyCAREER storyline, Spike brings the real world experience of the NBA to life like never before making NBA 2K16 the ultimate simulation
There have been hours worth of footage captured to help breathe some life into the MyCareer mode in this year's outing of NBA 2K16. I imagine it might be somewhat similar to what EA managed to do with Fight Night Champion.
In addition to announcing that Spike Lee will write and direct the mode, it was also announced that three of the cover athletes for NBA 2K16 will be Stephen Curry, James Harden and Anthony Davis. Each athlete will be on their own distinct cover of the sports title, giving gamers a choice of three unique looks.
I suppose, the real talk of the town will be about Spike Lee and how well he'll handle bridging film-style narrative with a game-based career mode. I also do wonder how well this year's MyCareer will mesh with the rest of the game. It's easy to setup a dynamic story mode but then the rest of the gameplay may seem like a completely separate experience, a little like Need For Speed: The Run.
You can look for the three different covers and the revamped MyCareer mode of NBA 2K16 to launch for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4 and PC on September 29th, 2015.