The virtual basketball world just got a whole lot bigger, because 2K Sports is adding 14 Euroleague teams to the upcoming NBA 2K14 video game.
2K Sports and Euroleague Basketball announced today an exclusive multi-year global partnership that will see top teams from the Turkish Airlines Euroleague introduced into NBA 2K14...This will mark the first time Euroleague teams have appeared in the critically acclaimed NBA 2K series. Fourteen teams in total will be integrated as playable teams in NBA 2K14, allowing fans of European basketball to pit their local teams against the biggest teams from the NBA for the very first time.
As for teams, the report lists the following clubs will be playable this fall.
· Alba Berlin· FC Barcelona· Real Madrid· CSKA Moscow· EA7 Emporio Armani Milano· Montepaschi Siena· Fenerbahçe Ülker Istanbul· Anadolu Efes Istanbul· Olympiacos Piraeus· Panathinaikos Athens· Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv· Zalgiris Kaunas· Unicaja Málaga· Laboral Kutxa Vitoria
There is no word on how the video game producer and the Euroleague came to the agreement, or how they happened upon these specific teams for this particular release.
If I had to guess, I would say both are merely dipping their toes into the market's water, gauging whether fans who grapple with buying the newest installment every year can be convinced with an influx of European talent.
If the answer is no, there is the hope that fans from across the pond will finally jump on board the successful franchise.
Yahoo! Sports' Dan Devine considers this a glowing sign that the 31-team league, spread across 18 countries, continues to make its mark alongside the massively popular NBA.
As someone who has played the series from its Dreamcast days, I can tell you it gets more difficult to find reasons to plunk down a good chunk of change for the annual release.
Getting far more teams is an intriguing turn and one that might very well produce an uptick in sales down the road. I just hope the teams are incorporated heavily into the game more than just a passing novelty.
Using Euroleague teams for acquisitions and scouting might be the next step in this obvious virtual evolution. It would have an already captivated crowd that much more immersed in the series.
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