2K is delaying the player ratings update for NBA 2K21 until the next-gen version.
When NBA 2K21 tips off this September, player ratings will not be updated from what they are currently in NBA 2K20. With COVID-19 throwing a wrench in the NBA’s scheduling plans, the 2020-21 season, which is reflected in NBA 2K21, has been delayed and probably won’t start until December at the earliest.
As a result, 2K is holding off on releasing any updated player ratings for NBA 2K21 on current-gen consoles. Instead, the developer will wait until the conclusion of the 2019-20 NBA postseason and then release updated player ratings with the launch of the next-generation version of NBA 2K21. According to 2K, the decision to wait until after the current postseason is “to ensure the ratings are reflective of the player’s performance this season.”
The NBA Playoff Finals are scheduled to run from September 30 – October 12, 2020. Neither of the next-gen consoles have a confirmed release date although Microsoft has announced a November launch window for the Xbox Series X while Sony maintains a “holiday 2020” window for the PlayStation 5.
Presumably, the few weeks between the end of the playoffs and the launch of the next-gen version of NBA 2K21 will give 2K ample opportunity to make the necessary rating adjustments. Updated player ratings for NBA 2K21 will be implemented across the current- and next-gen consoles.
Admittedly, one of the most exciting things about a new sports game releasing is the updated ratings but this is a smart move by 2K. First off, the NBA free agency doesn’t even start until October which is also when the NBA Draft is scheduled for, so there’s no way 2K could possibly predict what rosters will look like next season. Additionally, it’d be premature to crown someone as the highest-rated player without seeing how the current postseason unfolds.
I know mid-season roster updates are a thing now but it would just be double the work at this stage. Plus I’m sure 2K is all hands on deck for the next-gen launch.
As it stands, when NBA 2K21 launches for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on September 4, the player ratings will look exactly how they do now in NBA 2K20. That means LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden will lead the game with a 97 overall. The top 100 player ratings can be viewed here.