Netmarble Partners with NBA, NBPA on New Mobile Gaming Experience

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2020

The NBA logo at center court is shown during the second half of an NBA first-round playoff basketball game between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association announced a deal Tuesday with Netmarble to produce a mobile game featuring stars from the league. 

"We could not be more thrilled to partner with such esteemed organizations as the NBA and NBPA for our first Western-developed game," Netmarble US president Simon Sim said in the press release. "While we worked with our team at headquarters on many games, this has been a major company goal for us from the start. The NBA has a tremendous legacy and legion of fans, and we're excited to take the court with them to create a game that will be fun for NBA fans and gamers alike."

Netmarble is based in South Korea and opened a United States-based office in Los Angeles in 2018. This will be the company's first project produced in the U.S. The company is teaming with independent game developer Kung Fu Factory on the game, which is in active development. 

The specifics surrounding the game will be revealed at a later date. For now, Netmarble is only hyping up "impressive visuals" and "approachable gameplay."

Gamers are used to playing NBA games on traditional video game consoles, but mobile offerings are somewhat limited. NBA 2K offers a mobile variant, and EA Sports has transitioned NBA Live exclusively to that format.

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Perhaps the Netmarble partnership signals a more unique experience that will be available to users.