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The Commercial Success of Basketball Video Game Titles

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Basketball is one of those engaging team sports many of us spend good money on to watch, train, and play. Its benefits – just like any physical activity, game, or hobby – are endless. Playing basketball competitively and regularly even develops our mental health and strengthens our immune system, according to Health Fitness Revolution. In hindsight, these are just some of the reasons why the sport continues to grow in popularity throughout the world, which is also why it’s no wonder gaming companies see it as a desirable and viable marketing tool.

Other than multi-million dollar sponsorships from the likes of Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour, professional players in the National Basketball Association or the NBA, are immortalized in video games. For one, companies enjoy massive sales as reflected by Sporting News’ report on the rankings of the top selling sports video games. In the article, the ever-popular NBA 2K franchise sits at the number two spot, behind EA Sports’ FIFA series (soccer) – which, by the way, still remains the most popular sport in the world. It’s a given that basketball video game titles are actually playable on consoles such as the PlayStation and Xbox, but what about other electronic gadgets for the common man?

On a smaller scale, mobile and online games also present a good platform for basketball. The sport’s dynamics can easily be adapted to smartphones’ undersized screen, as seen in the relative success of the classic arcade game, NBA Jam, on both iOS and Android. In terms of the operational aspect, gaming PCs have long been head-to-head with commercially successful consoles, so much so that a lot of people still opt to play the NBA 2K’s online version on it. In terms of interconnectivity, basketball’s scope even translates and branches out to other types of games. UK-based gaming company Spin Genie has a thematic version of an online slot machine simply called Basketball Star. In a way, these facets represent how basketball is truly versatile not just in the actual world where any sports fan can appreciate the game itself; but also in a cyber arena perfect for recreation and leisure.

Indeed, basketball video games have come a long way from the 8-bit titles of Atari and Commodore 64 in the ‘80s, to the groundbreaking versions on NES and SNES in the ‘90s. Today, we have the option to play and, more importantly engage, in the sport in a comprehensive virtual setting. Whether we choose to stay updated with news around the NBA on productivity apps, or pass time on console, mobile, and actual games, basketball – real and simulated – is here to stay.

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