Many NBA 2K fans would love to see the late Kobe Bryant as the cover athlete for the next version of the game. Even Hall-of-Famer and www.mmobc.com Bryant’s former teammate Shaquille O’Neal said he felt that Kobe should have his own cover/edition for NBA 2K21.
While that might seem like the right thing to do, it’s not as simple as it would appear to some.
2K and any company who uses Bryant’s likeness has to tread lightly. This has nothing to do with sorting through the legalities of incorporating the likeness of a prominent person who is deceased. The caution I’m referring to is all about the optics.
2K must avoid looking as though they are exploiting a tragedy and being accused of profiting from the legend’s death. You can tell 2K is already sensitive and aware of this possibility.
This past week, NBA 2K20’s MyTeam mode https://www.mmobc.com/nba-2k21-mt released a new Pink Diamond Kobe Bryant card along with a set of Career Spotlight Challenges. The card and everything attached to it was free to every MyTeam player.
It was presented as a way to say thank you to all the MyTeam players who have played the mode consistently since this version of the game was released in September 2019, and to pay homage to Bryant.
I believe there will be more Bryant content released, and I’m willing to bet there won’t be any sort of price (virtual or actual currency) required to obtain him.
I’m expecting a pretty significant grind that is connected to the tasks required to add the Galaxy Opal James Harden card to your NBA 2K21 MT collection, but no money. Usually, choice cards are placed in packs where fans will either grind or buy VC so that they can take their chances trying to pull the content. The odds of getting these cards are low, but it happens.
Putting any Bryant card in packs would almost certainly be met with a slew of negative feedback, and while it probably wouldn’t be as egregious to feature him on the cover, some critics would still accuse 2K of exploitation.
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