NBA2K Heading to Apple Arcade With Special Edition “NBA2K21 Arcade Edition” Release
Apple’s gaming service, Apple Arcade, is getting it’s possible biggest addition yet with the announcement that NBA2K will be coming to the platform with a new special edition being released. Dubbed NBA2K21 Arcade Edition, 2K mobile released this past month while boasting “an all-new graphics engine that offers the highest possible resolution of gameplay ever experienced on Apple devices.”
This is the game that has led to the most splash on the tech giant’s gaming platform, something that has been desperate to attempt to develop itself into a serious contender to others such as Steam and the Epic Store. When it comes to competing with some of these larger platforms, 2K21 mobile has a solid ring to it when your competitors are able to offer more serious sports titles to their player base.
As usual with other Apple Arcade titles, there’s no additional fee in order to play the game if you are already a subscriber to the Apple Arcade service. Another point in this release’s favor is that sports games have been fairly scant on Apple Arcade so far, leaving games on the platform that are more of the casual-arcade style games with titles like Ballistic Baseball.
In the game, you are able to play all of the game modes you would find on a traditional console release, including the Blacktop park mode for pick up and multiplayer games, any of the latest NBA rosters from the 2020-2021 season, or you can create your own player through the MyCareer story mode where you are able to find your own path to the super star life of an NBA player. NBA 2K mobile allows for players to be able to earn badges just like in the console versions, but it’s much more difficult to level a character in the new title while you build your team.
Unfortunately for players of 2K on a console or PC, it has been confirmed that you will be unable to sync your MyCareer from NBA2K21 to the new Apple Arcade version, since it is a special edition of the game that doesn’t allow for the crossover save functionality. Playing on an Apple device will also limit your online multiplayer matchmaking to competing only against others who are also playing on an Apple mobile device.
Players of NBA2K Arcade will most likely be pretty familiar with the control scheme and layout of the game in general if they are players of the console or PC versions. However, the overall control options (eg. in game controls, camera, etc) are stripped down quite a bit to be able to function on the mobile platform. There is also a noticeable lack of microtransactions, something that is a bit jarring when somebody is used to the usual 2K model of an almost “pay to win” style of gameplay.
Apple Arcade currently sits around 210 games that are offered under a $5 monthly subscription, and time is going to tell whether the addition of a serious sports title will do anything to drive up that subscriber count. Apple released the following statement with respect to NBA 2K22 Arcade Edition:
“NBA 2K22 Arcade Edition is the latest title in the world-renowned, best-selling NBA 2K series exclusively on Apple Arcade. Live your NBA dreams on the hardwood and run with today’s top stars like Luka Doncic, Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis, Rui Hachimura, Karl-Anthony Towns, and more – in an authentic NBA 2K experience.”