"NBA Playgrounds 2 has a new publisher — 2K Sports.
The arcade-style basketball game will thus be rebranded as NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 when the game launches this fall. 2K Sports and Saber Interactive announced the deal in a statement this morning.That may explain why NBA Playgrounds 2 was abruptly delayed one week before its original launch date, which was supposed to be in May. That was followed by canceled pre-orders and refunds, suggesting something other than a simple delay had happened.
“We can’t wait to share more on how we’re teaming up to make NBA 2K Playgrounds 2’s incredible arcade action bigger and better than ever for players,” Matt Karch, Saber’s chief executive, said in the statement.
Karch told Polygon the decision to go with 2K wasn’t because of any problems with Mad Dog. “Everyone feels that 2K gives the NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 the best chance for success and future growth,” he said.
For 2K’s part, Jason Argent, the senior vice president for basketball operations, said the partnership was a natural fit. “We couldn’t ignore the fact [the first NBA Playgrounds] sold about a million units, all digital,” he said. “With a solid foundation already built for the Playgrounds franchise, combined with 2K’s product development and marketing strengths, 2K and Saber agreed that a collaboration could lead to even greater success. Plus we’ve been pretty open about 2K’s desire to expand our footprint in the basketball games.”
The “2K flair” comment in the news release will be expanded upon later, Argent said; “There will be increased polish across the board and new gameplay components that we’ll announce in a few weeks,” he said.