What do you do when you include the greatest player to ever play your sport in an edition of your game and its sales double?
Why you bring him back and include a bunch of his classic compadres. 2K Sports deserves a lot of credit for basically ensuring 2K12 will have some novelty of its own. Novelty is what can make a stale series great again -- just ask Tiger Woods PGA Tour from this past year how the Masters helped spur buzz and ultimately sales of the game.
In case you haven't heard, NBA 2K12 is getting a new mode called NBA's Greatest Mode. At the current time only five players are confirmed and they are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julius Erving, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan.
But there's 10 more still to go. And we know we're going back to at least the 60's -- time to get 100 points like Wilt.
Including historical broadcast elements into the game for their eras is going to be sick as it is. Having historical arenas will be absolutely awesome. Let's face it, the NBA wasn't played in cathedrals in the 60s -- at least not everywhere.
Given the tendency for the NBA Lockout to basically take out the first half of this season if you believe some of what you are hearing, this is a good move to try to spur sales. And even more important is that for the game itself, this bit of added novelty will ensure NBA 2K12 gets the buzz it needs to be successful this season.
Most sports games are running low on originality -- and many would do themselves proud by going the novelty route at least for a season or two just to increase buzz a bit for their titles.
Yes that's right, I just said gimmick over substance. But guess what? Unless you are 12 -- playing as classic teams and players probably resonates with you at least somewhat in any sport.
Of course, this does raise the question of what can 2K12 keep doing with the classics angle after this year -- and you are right about the simple fact that we simply do not know. The thing about novelty is that it is fun at first -- but if you keep coming back to the same well you end up being more annoying than anything else.
But for now, I'm looking forward to a potential Shaq vs. Wilt matchup coming to my TV screen in the very near future.