Jay-Z’s contributions to the new video game NBA 2K13 amounted to more than slapping his name on the packaging next to an “executive producer” credit. Publishing label 2K Sports says the rapper influenced key aspects of design and used his clout to secure elements that might have otherwise been out of the game maker’s reach, including music from U2 and participation of some star players.
On Jay-Z’s urging, 2K Sports struck a deal with USA Basketball to incorporate the Dream Team of the 1992 Olympics. But there were some glaring holes in their virtual lineup: Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen were not part of the overall licensing agreement administered by the National Basketball Retired Players Association, and had declined to sign a direct deal for NBA 2K13.
2K Sports Vice President Jason Argent says Jay-Z “literally picked up the phone” during a meeting to call Barkley and Pippen, exhorting them to sign on. Barkley soon did so, but Pippen dragged his feet. In August, when 2K published images of their Dream Team–minus Pippen–there was an outcry from gamers, which may have helped prompt the former Chicago Bulls forward to come aboard.
Not surprisingly, NBA 2K13′s music also bears Jay-Z’s stamp. “He picked that soundtrack top to bottom and in order. That’s exactly what we wanted,” Argent says. The mix includes tracks by some of the rapper’s friends and collaborators, including Kanye West, Santigold and Coldplay. But the licensing team got a “no” from U2, whose music had never been included in a videogame before, Argent says, adding: “Jay made a call, and suddenly U2′s ‘Elevation’ was in the game.”
Developers met with the rapper several times in his Roc Nation office in New York go over the look of the game. “We thought we’d get 15 minutes with him; he wanted two hours. He wanted to go through every menu and video to weigh in,” Argent says.
Despite all his maneuvering behind the scenes, Jay-Z will play a small role inside the game itself. The rapper, a minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets, appears courtside during the team’s home games.
Happy NBA 2K13 launch day! SHARE if you’re excited for launch day. Purchase NBA 2K13 here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Xboxgamesfan/359313630819308?fref=ts
Coming to Stores: October 2nd Edition
This week is light. That’s not a bad thing though, because there is a big game coming EVERY week this month, so it helps to ease us in instead of dumping four games on us for two weeks. PC gamers are kicking things into gear, too, with War of the Roses (note: I had to mention that, otherwise my head would be resting over Tony’s mantel). Vita is also getting a digital release, New Little King’s Story. You have one week to play all of these games, where are you starting? ~ Don
Please note dates are subject to change, and these do not account for digital releases, which can sometimes be as important as retail releases.
- Tuesday, October 2 ~ NBA 2K13 (PS3, Wii, & X360)
- Tuesday, October 2 ~ Resident Evil 6 (PS3 & X360)
- Tuesday, October 2 ~ Carrier Command: Gaea Mission
Carrier Command: Gaea Mission is the sole exclusive this week, though it came to the PC platform last week. It’s based around a fictional world from a trilogy of novels, but carries it into the gameplay of the original Carrier Command released in 1988. With NBA Live 13 cancelled, there’s only one basketball sim hitting the courts this year, 2K’s NBA 2K13. Last year’s NBA 2K release was a big hit, and this year looks to repeat history with enhancements all around- including a spruced up MyCAREER mode. Resident Evil 6 marks the third..let me repeat that..third Resident Evil game to come out this year. Rest assured, you can now move and shoot in the series, though when I played the demo I kept forgetting to. I’ve been in the habit of standing as still as a statue since the first Resident Evil game, that it never registered I could move in this release. But I digress, hopefully, this will return Resident Evil as a star franchise in the gaming world (EDITOR’S NOTE: It won’t), especially after the last few lackluster console releases.
- Tuesday, October 1 ~ Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone
- Tuesday, October 1 ~ Crosswords Plus
For aspiring artists, Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone is your educational gateway into the field. It gives you a broad range of art forms to explore, and looks to be a must-have for anyone looking for a creative outlet on-the-go. Along the same lines, those people needing a brain teaser to complete their day have Crosswords Plus to look into, complete with professionally designed puzzles. Instead of carrying a 3DS and a crosswords book (EDITOR’S NOTE: Who does this?) , now you just need your 3DS and Crosswords Plus.