Stephen Curry has had quite the NBA season this year; so good that NBA 2K16 simulations can’t catch up to him.
When athletes outplay the competition on an unbelievable level, broadcasters often state they’re “putting up video game numbers.” The idea is that in video games, skilled players can outmaneuver the AI in order to get a performance that could not be replicated in real life. Funny enough, it’s quite the opposite for Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, with the developers of NBA 2K16 confirming in an interview that balancing fairness and the unfairness that his play naturally brings is a difficult challenge for the basketball simulator.
You see, Stephen Curry has shown incredible shooting range this season, being able to knock down 3-pointers like nobody’s business. Unfortunately, for developer Visual Concepts, it is exactly their business, having to limit his potential within NBA 2K16. “Scoring in the paint and 3-point shooting have historically been the toughest areas to properly balance,” says Mike Wang, gameplay director of NBA 2K.
“Taking 3’s off the dribble are also definitely discouraged in NBA 2K,” Wang adds. “Especially after over-dribbling beforehand.”
The problem being is that, when it comes to hitting 3’s this year, Stephen Curry is on an incredible pace. ESPN ran 50 2K Sports season simulations on Curry, averaging 28.5 points per game, 23 30-point games, two 20-point quarters and 293 total three-pointers. At Curry’s real-life pace, however, he’s on track for 29.8 points per game, 36 30-point games, seven 20-point quarters and a whopping 388 three-point shots made.
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If you make Steph Curry as great as he is in real life this year within the confines of NBA 2K16, however, it really hampers the fairness and balance of the overall game. Online play shouldn’t be dictated by who gets to play as the Warriors and use one play to cheese out the defense. That’s why the current system goes against possible real-life conventions by punishing repeat dump-and-chuck three-point players. It’s great to see real life be more fantastical in nature than video games, and it will be interesting to see how the game’s developers tackle this issue with the new release next year.