In what is likely only a grand marketing move, the folks over at 2K Games have enlisted the services of a hip-hop icon that just so happens to be loved by a rather large demographic. Thankfully we aren’t in the era in which we’re going to see an Ice-T song appear in the forthcoming XCOM reboot as 2K has instead announced that Jay-Z will be the “Executive Producer” of NBA 2K13.
The man that sometimes go by hova or my favorite jiggaman will be lending his services, or at least his name, to craft the experience gamers will find in 2K’s yearly basketball entry. Now I doubt anyone is under the impression that Jay-Z is securing funding for the game or is overseeing key aspects of the development cycle, the things that one with the Executive Producer title would do in that position, as he’ll instead be picking the buttery beats for the soundtrack.
Take Two have yet to officially announce how Jay-Z will be involved in NBA 2K13 through one of those always worded wonderfully press releases, but I think it’s pretty much clear that Jay will likely pick some tunes and in the process net a hefty paycheck. It’s obvious that this move is yet another marketing ploy by Take Two to make people buy NBA 2K13, but at this point was such a thing needed? I’m sure Jay will offer a nice collection of hip-hop, rap, and maybe rock/pop songs for the soundtrack, but for me the NBA 2K brand is strong enough to survive without such an involvement, even in the wake of EA bringing back NBA Live this year sans a Jesus Bynum moment.
But perhaps in a grand twist we’ll all be proven wrong and Jay-Z will contribute more than just soundtrack selections for NBA 2K13. Maybe we can expect that Jay-Z feel to be found through the UI and other components which will make the game feel unique in a way. It could even be possible that Jay has his sights set on making his presence felt in the gaming world just like Marc Ecko tried to do a few years back with the slightly underrated graffiti game Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure. On second thought who am I kidding, we all know this is just a paycheck/cross-over promotion for Jay-Z in the end.
For me the big questions about this development are whether we can expect Jay-Z to be a playable character (perhaps we’ll have different eras of Jay just like we had with Michael Jordan) and whether or not the Brooklyn Nets will be grossly over-powered. After all Jay is the proud co-owner of the Nets so a bit of stat boosting may be in order.