NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition Launches For Apple Devices, Looks Pretty Great

A new version of 2K's pro basketball game has been added to Apple Arcade.


2K Sports is giving fans another way to play NBA 2K21, releasing an Arcade Edition of the game today on Apple Arcade. Described as a "one-of-a-kind basketball experience," the Arcade Edition claims to have "impressive gameplay resolution" for Apple phones.

The game has visuals, AI, and animations that are "significantly improved," 2K said.

A first look at NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition
A first look at NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition

There are a handful of modes in the Arcade Edition, including Arena quick match, which is a 5v5 mode featuring the latest NBA rosters for the 2020-2021 season. There is also a mode called Blacktop quick match, which is described as a "fast-paced" and "over-the-top" mode. The game also has standard online multiplayer, as well as a MyCareer mode.

Players can use touch controls or an Xbox or DualShock controller. The Arcade Edition is available for subscribers to Apple Arcade across iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac.

NBA 2K21's Arcade Edition is one of the 30+ additional games added to Apple Arcade in a new update. Others include The Oregon Trail, Star Trek: Legends, and Cut the Rope Remastered. Platinum's long-awaited World of Demons has also been added to Apple Arcade today. Head to Apple's website to see a full rundown of the new additions. Apple has also introduced two new categories--Timeless Classics and App Store Greats.

Apple Arcade is a subscription service that costs $5 per month and gives you access to a catalog of games that is now above 180 different titles. There are no ads or in-app purchases for Apple Arcade titles.

Strauss Zelnick, the head of 2K Sports owner Take-Two Interactive, previously spoke about why he is skeptical of subscription services like Apple Arcade. "You have to find that intersection in business models that serve the customer successfully and also serve everyone else who participates in the value chain," he said. "And that may prove to be a little challenging for subscriptions in this space because people do consume video games differently than they consume linear entertainment."

At the same time, Zelnick said Take-Two wants to "be where the consumer is," regardless of his own thoughts on matter, which may explain why NBA 2K21 is coming to Apple Arcade.

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