June 2, 2010 marked a unique day in video game branding history when Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan was announced on the cover of “NBA 2K11.” The announcement of his image on the cover of the basketball videogame franchise marked the first time an inactive member of the NBA players’ union garnered the honor on any title. This year, Jordan makes a comeback on the franchise’s cover, except now he’s joined by two other legendary superstars.
On July 21, 2011, 2K Sports announced that the cover art for “NBA 2K12,” an NBA simulation game, will now feature three NBA Hall of Famers: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird. Last year with only Jordan featured as the cover art, the game sold more than five million units worldwide and earned 14 Sports Game of the Year honors.
Created by artist Adam Larson, a featured cover artist of ESPN Magazine, the three artworks created for 2K Sports will be available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and shipped in equal numbers to all retail locations around the United States. However, versions of the game for PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii, PSP, Windows PC, and all sold outside of the United States will only feature the Jordan cover.
In addition to sweet cover art, the game will feature the return of the Jordan Challenge that debuted in “NBA 2K11,” which allows players to recreate and play famous scenarios in Jordan’s career. Also, the continuation of Jordan’s input into retooling and improving game details such as player’s shot technique will keep on improving.
Recently, multi-person video game covers have been a trend in sports simulation games as of late. On the cover of “Madden 2010,” Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald shared the cover, marking the first time two athletes were featured the same year for the franchise. While each of these three stars will be shown separately on three distinct covers, the artwork designers for 2K Sports are hoping their triple-threat strategy will add to the appeal and desire for the game.
Even if fans are locked out from watching the 2011-2012 NBA season on their television sets, fans starting Oct. 4, 2011, will now have “NBA 2K12” featuring Jordan, Magic, and Bird on the cover to have a consolation of playing as their favorite stars on the video game console of their choice.
‘NBA 2K12’ cover art to feature Bird, Magic, Jordan
Jordan, Magic, Bird on ‘NBA 2K12’ cover
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