NBA Playgrounds 2 was due to launch on Tuesday, May 22, but developer Saber Interactive has delayed it at the last minute.
Saber didn’t give any specific reasons why the game was being delayed. It was announced only about a month ago, and is planned for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.
Saber Interactive said the new game would get an online ranked competition called Playgrounds Championship and a Season Mode within the single-player mode. Dedicated servers will support online play, which wasn’t very smooth in last year’s game. More than 200 current NBA stars and retired greats will be available to unlock in card packs.
We didn’t think much of the first NBA Playgrounds, although it was nice to see licensed arcade-style basketball coming back for the first time since 2011’s NBA Jam: On Fire Edition. The player variety and visual appeal was a strength but we found the gameplay, particularly as it applied to online matches, a bit of a grind.
If Saber has gone back to the drawing board on gameplay, as it sounds like, this is worth a second chance. And since it’s an arcade title, there’s no hurry to get it out, although Saber Interactive might want it to launch before bigger-sized sports titles show up in the early fall.
Update (May 21): NBA Playgrounds 2 pre-order customers are reporting on social media that their digital pre-orders are being canceled. Asked for comment, a representative for Saber Interactive told Polygon, “Since the extent of NBA Playgrounds 2’s delay is unknown, we feel the right thing to do for our fans and players is refund pre-orders.” The spokesperson added that the company has “incredibly exciting news for the game,” and will “have more details to share soon.”