It’s early 2014, and my friends and IÂ are sitting in his bedroom playing a game I never touched and never thought I would touch: NCAA Basketball 2010. The last game in EA Sports’ college basketball series came out almost five years prior at that point, and the series was long dead.
However, despite the surprise of actually playing the game, it was incredibly fun. It made me want to play college basketball in video game form that was up to date with the modern gaming world and, now that I’m in college at the University of Alabama, that feeling is even stronger.
So, when a records search from user “King_B_Mack” on operationsports.com was posted and went viral, my excitement could hardly be contained. College basketball is coming back? As part of 2K16? That way I won’t have to pay an extra $40-60 for it?
According to the search, 2K Sports got licenses from various schools: Arizona, Arizona State, Connecticut, Georgetown, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan, Texas, UCLA, Villanova and Wisconsin. All of these schools are relatively big programs in college basketball, and their fanbases will be ecstatic to see that they will be making an appearance in 2K16.
While there were no other licenses found, it’s impressive enough that all of these schools agreed to self-licensing for this game. In the past, the different conferences and the NCAA as a whole would license teams, but these are all negotiations between individual schools and 2K Sports.
One of the primary reasons these games stopped, however, was issues with player likeness. NCAA schools cannot pay their athletes, and using the likeness of a player would require paid royalties to said player, which violates the rules of the NCAA and is generally bad business and etiquette.
With that in mind, it’s fair to expect 2K Sports to take a much smarter route in regards to player likeness and what each team’s players will consist of and look like. It most likely be the stars and players you know and love, but rather players at random of various degrees of talent.
It seems that the primary opinion across the web when it comes to college teams and the games features is that 2K16’s popular My Player mode will now offer college and potentially high school to allow a more immersive and fun experience.
Like mostÂ of the college games to come before it, most notably NCAA Football’s Dynasty and Road to Glory modes, the career mode style is always popular and understandably so. Why do people play sports video games or any video game that matter? To take on the challenge and virtually live the dream of being whatever the game offers.
I can already imagine myself as a basketball star who is 6’5″ instead of 5’6″ and just can’t be stopped when driving to the hoop. I will make my way up through high school and college until I get paid millions of dollars and become famous due to my incredible ability to dunk on just about anybody.
While that was only something I saw in my dreams, I can now see it on a screen as well. This is a great coup for 2K16, and will offer a new feature that has people legitimately excited, including myself.
2K Sports will need to be careful to not screw up a wonderful opportunity, but they’ve done a fantastic job so far with the series. They’ve quickly taken over the basketball market and the only bigger sports game right now is EA Sports’ FIFA series.
College basketball is finally making its way back to the video game world.