Hello everyone! For those of you that don’t know me already, my name is Erick Boenisch, Senior Producer on NBA 2K17. Many of you may know me by my online handle, SimBaller. I’d like to be the first person to welcome you to NBA 2K17! The team here at Visual Concepts has been working relentlessly on this year’s game, and I’m extremely proud to show you one of the new features that we know you will all really enjoy.
For anyone who has read my blogs in the past, you know that I am serious about MyGM and MyLEAGUE. I’m blessed to work with a core group of people who share the exact same level of passion. We’ve done a LOT of work to these modes this year, and one feature I can’t stop talking about is…League Expansion. This is entirely new to NBA 2K17, and is the feature I want to tell you about today.
League Expansion is, as it sounds, a way to grow your league beyond the 30-team NBA. When creating a new MyGM or MyLEAGUE, you have a few options on how you can handle the setup of your new league: – Start with the current 30-team NBA, as it is structured now. – Start a league with Expansion where you can instantly expand the league from 30 up to 36 teams (all with designs of your choosing). – Or, you can start with a completely customized league (that can still include up to 36 teams) that may include realigned divisions, Expansion Teams, Classic teams, Edited/Rebranded NBA teams, Euroleague teams, and more.
Every possible configuration you could want is now at your fingertips. And I have more features to make the expansion process even easier for you. If creating all of the art assets for the team logo, arena, and uniforms is more than you can handle, I have two alternatives for you. First, we have 10 pre-built fictional franchises (complete with full audio and commentary support) built right in to the game. Pick your favorite one and off you go. Alternatively, you can now download complete team designs from the community in NBA 2K17. For example, if you know that you want your expansion team to be a Seattle Supersonics franchise, you can search through community uploaded team designs and instantly download one right into your new MyGM/MyLEAGUE. It couldn’t be simpler.
For my franchise heads out there, you already know that a proper league expansion is more than just new logo/uniform/stadium art. The entire experience surrounding the game has to support it. We’ve covered every detail required for a proper league expansion, including player protections, expansion drafts, and much, much more. A considerable amount of time was spent this year building an NBA schedule creation tool that dynamically generates balanced schedules with respect to your 31/32/33/34/35/36 team leagues. We then created dynamic menus for every menu in the game including the Draft Lottery and the Draft, with respect to how many teams are in the league. For example, when you have a 32-team league, that means you now have 16 teams in the lottery (up from the current 14), and all the mathematical odds of getting the #1 pick that go along with that new Draft Lottery format need to be updated. Simply put, we left no stone unturned, and we did it all for your enjoyment. Immerse yourselves.
League Expansion isn’t just a feature you can use when setting up your league. You can dynamically expand your league in the offseason, even after the mode has already started! Additionally, the league will approve expansion franchises dynamically on its own as you get further into your franchise. When that happens, you’ll need to make tough decisions about which of your players you want to protect, and which will need to be exposed for the impending Expansion Draft. It won’t happen very often, but when it does, it will shake up your league, without a doubt! For the MyLEAGUE users out there, you will have the ability to contract previously expanded expansion teams, should you choose to do so.
MyGM/MyLEAGUE has seen a LOT of great additions this year; I’ll get into the rest of those details a little closer to launch. We’re always looking for ways to innovate in the franchise space, and following on the heels of Team Relocation in NBA 2K16, League Expansion feels like the natural evolution moving forward with NBA 2K17. Let me know below how you plan on using the League Expansion feature. I’m excited to hear what everyone’s plans are!