Was NBA 2K23 a slam dunk with gamers?
October 7th, 2022, Rishad Dsouza

Was NBA 2K23 a slam dunk with gamers?

One month after its release, how are gamers on different platforms responding to the release of NBA 2K23? YouGov BrandIndex, which tracks brand perceptions and consumption data continuously, allows us to see how the franchise has fared.

Among Xbox users, the franchise has seen an uptick in key metrics since the launch of the NBA 2K23 title on September 8, but the trends have been slightly different among gamers who use Nintendo and PlayStation consoles.

Buzz scores for the franchise have risen from 8.0 on the date of the game’s release to 11.9 as of October 5, among Xbox users. The Buzz score is the difference between the percentage of respondents hearing positive news and the percentage hearing negative news about a franchise in the previous two weeks. Among Nintendo users, Buzz scores have remained somewhat flat, going from 6.3 on launch day to 7.1 on October 5, while scores have slipped from 13.4 to 7.3 among the PlayStation folk. It is worth noting that storage restrictions on the Nintendo Switch mean that gamers will likely need a Micro SD card to run NBA 2K23 on the system.

Some of the post-release media coverage of the title has mentioned microtransactions within the game. To understand whether this could be playing a role in consumer perceptions, we can look at Value scores. The Value score represents the difference between the percentage of consumers who believe a franchise delivers good value vs those that believe a franchise delivers poor value. Across all three platforms, this score has declined continuously since launch date. Among Xbox gamers, it dipped from 11.8 on September 8 to 5.9 on October 5. A similar decline has been observed among PlayStation (20.8 to 10.0) and Nintendo (7.7 to -1.1) users too.

While Value perception has declined, it hasn’t necessarily impacted demand – at least not in a linear way. Consideration scores, which track the share of consumers who say they consider playing a certain title, have made gains among Xbox users (from 15.8 on launch to 18.3). But scores have dipped for PlayStation users (18.5 to 14.3) and among Nintendo users (11.4 to 10.5).

Does the cover athlete influence the appeal of the game?

Devin Booker was announced as one of the NBA 2K23 cover athletes in July. YouGov data shows that, since July, a higher share of Devin Booker fans (22%) is considering playing the game compared to fans of the five most popular NBA players (18%). So, how popular is Booker globally?

About one in 20 NBA fans say that Booker is one of their favorite athletes. That figure is constant across North America, APAC, and MENA, but dips among NBA fans in Europe and South America (3%).

Image courtesy: NBA 2K23

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Methodology: YouGov BrandIndex collects data on major video game franchises in the US. The Buzz score of video games is based on the question “Over the past two weeks, which of the following video games have you heard something positive about?” and “Now which of the following video games have you heard something negative about?” and delivered as a net score between –100 and +100. Scores are based on an average daily sample size of 174 Xbox, 179 Nintendo and 313 PlayStation users in the US between September 1 to October 5. Figures are based on a four-week moving average. Learn more about BrandIndex.