For years one of the things in addition to polished gameplay that set the NBA 2K series apart is its MyCareer mode. It's given players a single-player experience that's evolved over the years to be much more than a mode where you're only locked into one player, but it's not any different than franchise mode.
They've added storylines and narratives, and have also provided mini-games, apartments, and much more to give the game tons of content. The MyCareer mode isn't perfect though, so with the release of NBA 2K20 coming up let's look at 10 ways MyCareer can be improved.
10 March Madness
In years past players have often had the opportunity to start their MyCareer journey as a college basketball athlete looking to make a name for themselves. 2K could take this to the next level and allow players to play through the entire March Madness tournament.
They could even implement a system where you get difficulty multipliers for taking lesser-known or successful programs farther into the tournament. This would allow players to carve out their own journey to the NBA and make their experience feel uniquely crafted for them.
9 Reward Authentic Play
Often times the people who play sports games fall into one or two categories with the first being those who are looking for an authentic sports experience, and those who want to break every record imaginable.
The MyCareer mode has incentives mostly based on statistical output, which means it rewards the latter over the former. The MyCareer mode should do a better job overall of rewarding players who play a more authentic style so they don't feel the need to have to post ridiculous numbers just to upgrade their player.
8 A New Apartment
Annual franchises have the burden of carrying shorter development cycles, so in order to hit the release window every year, they tend to carry over features. One thing that hasn't changed a bit in recent years is the MyCourt apartment players have in MyCareer.
It features the same exact layout with virtually no changes at all. This needs to be corrected in NBA 2K20 in some capacity. Players will be upset if they're stuck with the same apartment they've had for 3 years despite having to fork up $60 once again.
7 Better Starting Clothing
Every NBA 2K player knows about the starter clothing everyone begins MyCareer with. It just so happens to be some grey sweats and a basic brown t-shirt. They're ugly for a reason, and that reason is that 2K wants you to either choose to use your upgrade points on clothes or your overall or go buy some currency via microtransactions.
Though they want to make money, it wouldn't hurt to give players several ugly outfits or pieces of clothing to choose from. Variety is the spice of life, even on a basketball court.
6 Better Mini-Games
NBA 2K19 allowed players to engage in various mini-games that didn't necessarily include a basketball. People had the opportunity to engage in bike races, dodgeball, among other things. This is a neat trend that should continue in their next entry in the series.
Giving players different non-basketball ways to showcase their attributes and the hard work they've put in makes the game feel more rewarding overall. It also breaks up the routine of purely playing basketball which could lead to a longer sustained player base.
5 Online Functionality
It's amazing that a game that makes as much money as NBA 2K does, has latency and connectivity issues in 2019. If you hop into the Neighborhood in MyCareer and try to play a pickup game you'll more often than not be met with latency, lag, or a generally lower quality of play experience.
This damages the overall user experience and makes the general player less likely to return to these modes. Nintendo is pretty much the only current platform that is understandably behind when it comes to online play, 2K has little to no excuse.
4 Lessen Overall Upgrade Spike
In NBA 2K games you upgrade your player in MyCareer by using VC tokens which can be earned in-game or purchased via microtransactions. The issue with this is that as a business you want to incentivize your audience into purchasing your currency, but the fact that it's the only way to upgrade your player means that you have to make it harder to acquire in-game or create spikes.
The games cripple people who don't want to pay any additional money and punish them by increasing the amount needed to upgrade attributes as your overall increases.
3 Fewer Ads
Despite being the king of NBA games, the 2K series has recently received criticism for including actual ads in their loading screens. This is on top of the microtransaction issues it also received upon its release and has the franchise in an optically poor place.
The game is selling better than ever, but consumers aren't dumb and good fortunes can turn in an instant. In the end, it's not an issue about needing the money, but rather how far they can push their player base. Forcing more ads on players might be a risk not worth taking.
2 Smoother Neighborhood
The Neighborhood is a prominent part of MyCareer as it allows you to explore an area filled with other human-controlled and created basketball players. You can join up in a number of mini-games, and also go shopping in hopes of customizing the perfect street player.
The big issue is that the Neighborhood goes for population over stability and the connection, in general, isn't the best. It is jarring to the point where it can completely take you out of the experience. Trading in fewer players on screen for a stronger connection could be the best decision moving forward.
1 A Better Story
MyCareer has always set itself apart due to giving players a structured narrative that often features a famous celebrity. Over the years it seems that this investment and focus has been traded for weird and awkward interactions with other NBA players throughout your rookie season.
Players have expressed frustration with the fact that it no longer feels like a compelling narrative, and often seems like it was pieced together at the last second. NBA 2K20 should try and return to form by providing players with a worthwhile and engaging story.