Every kid whose parents ever told him to spend more time studying and less time playing video games now has the best possible counter-argument: 21-year-old Justin Chavarria of Eugene, Ore. won $250,000 playing “MLB 2k13″ and will use the money to pay for law school. By pitching a perfect game in the 2K Sports’ annual challenge, Chavarria qualified for a single-elimination tournament at All-Star FanFest in New York this week.
No one in the history of the game—not even Jordan, my pick as GOAT—had as diverse a set of skills as James, who has continued to get better since entering the league. That presents a problem for video game developers. Only three months remain until the release of “NBA 2K14″ (and, if EA Sports can be trusted after last year’s tumble, “NBA Live 14″), which means only two or so months remain until player ratings for those games are finalized. The last time each company released a game—”NBA 2K13″ and “NBA Live 2010″—they rated James a 99 and a 98, respectively. The real-life player has inarguably gotten better in the time since. But how do you improve on a virtual player who was already the best?
Several weeks ago, the organizers of the Game Developers Conference Europe revealed a previously unannounced Ubisoft Montreal project “Child of Light” that will be officially unveiled at a talk titled “Small Projects in AAA Studios.” Led by Patrick Plourde, creative director on “Far Cry 3″ and lead designer of “Assassin’s Creed II,” “Child of Light” is said to be “the opposite” of Plourde’s previous AAA endeavors: a game with “a small team, a small budget, and an intimate scope,” and “a game with an indie mentality within the walls of a major studio.”