Free download of 'NBA 2K16' a rarity

Published on Jun. 7, 2016

One of the best-selling and top-rated sports games of 2015 is now available to download free through July 4 to all those with a PlayStation Plus subscription on PS4. "NBA 2K16" is arguably the deepest sports game ever released and received a 5/5 score from Sporting News.

While the main function of PS+ is in providing access to online play, one of the other benefits is that the program gives away free games every month. It's incredibly rare for one of them to be a sports game, let alone one of the biggest which remains relevant as the season hasn't yet even come to its end, so this is a very significant development.

NBA 2K is a top-10 seller from September through June of every year. Because of that it's surprising that the game would be offered free this month; however, they do have some freedom to be creative exactly because of the franchise's success.

MORE: NBA 2K simulates the Finals | '2K17' gets early release

There's also a competing service on Xbox One (EA Access) that has the likes of "Madden NFL 16," "FIFA 16," "NHL 16" and many others all available under a single subscription. This appears to be a direction the industry is headed, that when sales of sports games begin to tail off publishers can essentially offer them for free, and in doing so make some digital revenue off consumers who wouldn't have bought them otherwise.

There's still over three months until "NBA 2K17" will release — which will be earlier than ever before — with three different editions to consider purchasing. Paul George is on the cover of the standard edition and Kobe Bryant the special edition.

Bryan Wiedey posts sports gaming news and analysis daily at Pastapadre.com, is co-founder of HitThePass.com, hosts the Press Row Podcast, and be reached on Twitter @Pastapadre.  


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