The cancelled NBA season will live on in NBA 2K20.
Real-life NBA team Phoenix Suns have announced that they will play out the rest of their NBA season in NBA 2K20. In a post on Twitter, the team announced that they will stream the games on Twitch. They will play their game against the Dallas Mavericks on March 14th through the streaming service.
The tweet does not give any details on how this will work out. It is unknown who will be hosting the stream, or if the game will be played by real people or NBA 2K20's AI. Devin Booker, the Sun's shooting guard, is a well-known streamer, giving the possibility that he may be involved in the stream somehow. Booker found out that the NBA season was suspended while playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
The streaming of these games ensures that there is still some basketball action despite the season being suspended. However, the effects of COVID-19, the coronavirus, are reaching into the digital world from the real world. The NBA shutdown is causing issues for NBA 2K20's MyLeague mode, according to a report by Kotaku. This mode allows players to build a career based on current stats in the NBA. This creates a realistic experience for the player, but requires the game to pull from the official schedule statistics in real time. Now that NBA 2K20 does not have this data, the game does not know what to do. Since the season has stopped, the game struggles to simulate results, and crashes when it finds no new data.
Earlier this week, the NBA season was suspended after it was found that a player on the Utah Jazz was tested positive for coronavirus. Gameplay has been suspended until further notice, with the NBA announcing that they will use the hiatus in order to determine their next steps in moving forward.
The NBA season is the latest in events that are either being put on hold or cancelled. This week it was announced that E3 will no longer be taking place this year, and that Disneyland will be closed for the time being.