This is a little more like it.
On Tuesday, 2K released two new Galaxy Opal cards for MyTeam: Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. While I still feel as though the overall distribution of the mode’s highest-rated and most-coveted cards is too plentiful, we’re at least seeing some true greats of the game getting Galaxy Opal cards.
I wasn’t a fan of players like Blake Griffin, Isiah Thomas, CJ McCollum and James Worthy receiving GO cards–at least without some explanation of the criterion. While Thomas and Worthy are Hall-of-Famers and Griffin and McCollum are active stars in their prime, none of them jump out at you as players who should be immortalized with the mode’s top honor.
If GOs were exclusive to players in the HOF, or who have been cover athletes, or the eligibility was dictated by some sort of list compiled by 2K, it would make sense. However, that’s not the case. That said, it feels good to see legends of Magic and Bird’s ilk getting GO cards. It makes the entire experience feel more special. Bird and Magic almost single-handedly carried basketball in the 1980s and helped to rekindle the Lakers-Celtics rivalry.
Hopefully, this is a trend that rolls into the development and conceptualizing of NBA 2K20. MyTeam could use more balance and practicality. I acknowledge I could be misreading this trend. 2K might not be changing the way the cards are created now or in the future. Historically, as we move to the end of the life cycle of each version of the game, 2K releases more of the top cards.
Some fans enjoy the voluminous supply of Pink Diamond and GOs floating about in MyTeam currently. For 2K, it may be profitable to saturate the market with these digital products because it inspires players to continue to indulge in the mode and to spend real money on virtual currency so that they can open more packs.
I get it.
It’s a sensible approach, but I contend 2K can still achieve their goals for fan engagement and revenue by simply placing a higher value on GOs and PDs. What’s the best way to place a higher value on the top cards? It’s a three-step concept. It begins with only giving the most popular (includes Moments cards and sets like Generation Next) or respected players these cards. Secondly, there needs to be a wider gap between the attributes of the top two gemstones and the rest of the card types. GOs should be much better than PDs, which should be markedly better than Diamonds, and so on.
Lastly, increasing the rarity of the GO and PDs would make the acquisition more impacting. New cards drive the mode, but the rollout of the top cards is a little too quick. Releasing GO cards for icons like Magic and Bird address the first of the three, but if I’m being honest, the chances of 2K decreasing the number of high-level cards isn’t likely. While it may be imperfect, the revenue this method produces is undeniable.
That said, I’m still holding out some hope for a more select group of superstars to receive the royal treatment in NBA 2K20.