NBA 2K11 was a huge critical and commercial success for 2K Sports, due in no small part to the inclusion of Michael Jordan. His involvement wasn’t just in name. The game also featured the Jordan Challenges, which asked players to recreate some of the greatest moments in his career. 2K Sports has announced three separate covers for NBA 2K12, featuring Jordan, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird. The Jordan Challenges concept has now expanded to the NBA’s Greatest Mode. You’ll have to relive great achievements from the careers of 15 basketball legends including Julius Erving and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. After doing those challenges, you unlock the players and teams to use in other modes.
Sports fans are always arguing about which players or teams were better. Now there’s a way to see these battles play out on the court. How would the Magic Johnson-led Lakers defend the Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki? Could Jordan’s Bulls defeat “Dr. J” and the Philadelphia 76’ers? These legends still have selling power, as evidenced by Jordan. He hasn’t played in the NBA since 2003 but is still a spokesperson for everything from sneakers to underwear. And video games, of course.
NBA 2K11 has been in the Top 10 bestselling games for nine months. In June 2011, it was the only sports title in the Top 10. The only months in which it wasn’t the top selling sports title saw surges from Madden NFL 11 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12. This will be the second consecutive year that 2K Sports has no competition in basketball simulations. EA cancelled NBA Elite in 2010 and has since announced it won’t release an NBA sim until 2012 at the earliest. It will be hard to equal the success of 2K11, but the stage could be set for another blockbuster year.
NBA 2K12 hits the hardwood October 4, 2011.